A DRINK driver who led police on a chase after refusing to stop has been told he was lucky to avoid being sent straight to jail.
Kyle Montrose-Douglas got behind the wheel after a night’s drinking when he could not find a taxi.
When cops tried to pull him over, he put his foot down and drove off.
During the chase that followed, the 25-year-old drove on the wrong side of the road, mounted a kerb, crashing into a fence, and caused an oncoming driver to get out of his way to avoid a collision.
Teesside Crown Court heard police tried to stop Montrose-Douglas at 4am in Whitby Street because he was driving erratically.
“He drove off and appeared to lose control when he mounted a kerb on the opposite side of the carriageway and collided with a fence,” said prosecutor Shaun Dodds.
“He continued to drive in a dangerous manner through residential streets.
“He failed to give way at a roundabout and forced an oncoming motorist to take evasive action to avoid a collision.”
The chase came to an end when the car’s tyre blew out.
A breath test showed he was over the legal drink drive limit at 54 microgrammes. The legal limit is 35mg.
Montrose-Douglas, of Lindsay Road, Hartlepool, admitted dangerous driving, driving with excess alcohol and failing to stop on December 18.
Paul Cleasby, mitigating, said Montrose-Douglas was not sure if he was over the limit as he had not had a lot to drink, but accepted he had been “foolish”.
Mr Cleasby said: “Fortunately no-one was injured as a result of Mr Montrose-Douglas’ behaviour.
“He is thoroughly ashamed.”
He was given a nine months prison sentence suspended for 18 months, banned from driving for two years and 200 hours of unpaid work.
Judge Peter Bowers said: “Occasionally, I see on television CCTV or TV programmes which show bad driving.
“When they say at the end that the defendant got off with some fine or otherwise I can tell you it incenses me because the lunacy of dangerous driving like this even at four o’clock in the morning is far underestimated by the public and young people.
“Usually they go to prison immediately.”
Judge Bowers said Montrose-Douglas was saved by his early guilty plea and good record.