Drink driver crashed in ditch

Marek Poplielecki appeared at East Riding Magistrates' Court
Marek Poplielecki appeared at East Riding Magistrates' Court

A family man is lucky to be alive after drinking nearly twice the legal limit and crashing his car into a water-filled ditch.

Father-of-two Marek Popielecki narrowly avoided drowning after his Honda Accord was completely submerged in water between Brigham and North Frodingham.

His submerged car.

His submerged car.

Speaking through an interpreter at East Riding Magistrates’ Court, Popielecki, of Wicstun Way in Market Weighton, pleaded guilty to a charge of drink driving.

Prosecuting Sally Robinson said: “Fortunately for him he managed to get out of the vehicle.

“The car appeared to be submerged and he has to climb on the roof and wait for emergency services to come and rescue him”, she said.

“He smelled of intoxicant and has to be put in an ambulance.”

In mitigation, Gary Quantick described his client as a “hard working man”, who had been in a job since immigrating from Poland eight years ago.

Addressing the court, he said Popielecki decided to drive after growing concerned for his cousin. He added: “He was going to see his cousin who, being on holiday, expected him to call when he returned, but he didn’t.

“Mr Popielecki became worried and decided to drive to his cousin’s house to make sure he was alright.

“He was driving on the road and some cows were crossing and it was wet and muddy. His car skidded and he ended up in a ditch.”

Popielecki was arrested and taken to a police station, where officers gave him dry clothes to wear. A test found he had 69 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. Banning Popielecki from driving for 18 months, chairman of the bench Dr David Webster said: “You are quite fortunate to be here, by the sounds of it.

“Clearly you are remorseful for your action. You will be disqualified from driving for 18 months and fined £270, based on your income, and you will a victim surcharge and court costs. That comes to £382 all together.”

Popielecki’s ban will be reduced if he completes a drink driving awareness course and he was allowed to walk free from court.