Drink-driver drama of a runaway car

PUBLISHED: 13:52 20 April 2006 | UPDATED: 13:23 04 May 2010

POLICE officers jumped into a runaway car in the middle of Soham High Street to pull on the handbrake after it was abandoned by a drink-driver. They saw Romualdas Povilaitis, 50, stumble out of the Rover and he was arrested. But he was so violent at the p

POLICE officers jumped into a runaway car in the middle of Soham High Street to pull on the handbrake after it was abandoned by a drink-driver.

They saw Romualdas Povilaitis, 50, stumble out of the Rover and he was arrested.

But he was so violent at the police station that he was considered too dangerous to put on a breath test machine.

When he appeared before Ely magistrates on Thursday, the Lithuanian, who had two previous convictions for drink-driving, was jailed for five months and banned from driving for five years.

"This court has a duty to protect the public and all road users," he was told by presiding magistrate Mary Rone.

"We have not given you a full reduction in your sentence because of your history of re-offending and the fact that these offences were committed within such a short period of your appearing before this court for similar offences."

Povilaitis, of Norfolk Road, Ely, had previously admitted driving when under the influence of drink, and driving when disqualified and without insurance on February 20.

Police saw Povilaitis's car moving slowly along the High Street, straddling the middle of the road, said prosecutor Flynn Jennings.

It failed to stop when a police car used its blue lights, but stopped when the siren was put on. "Povilaitis forgot to put his handbrake on and it started rolling down the road," he said.

"At the police station, it was too dangerous to take him to the breath test machine, because he banged his fist against the wall."

Povilaitis had been jailed for six months in September last year, for drink-driving and assaulting a police officer, and was released in December.

Asking that his client not be jailed, solicitor James Dignan said there were underlying issues of alcohol abuse, and supervision by the probation service would help him and protect the public.

"He has already recognised he has alcohol issues that need to be addressed," he added.

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