Drink driver raced from cops at 82mph after row with partner

Wynyard Road, Hartlepool.
Wynyard Road, Hartlepool.

A danger driver led who led police on a high speed chase while three times the drink drive limit has been jailed.

Ryan Dowson, 23, hit speeds of up to 82mph in a 30mphm zone before crashing into a lamppost, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Dowson drove off in his partner’s Nissan Qashqai after the couple had a row on a night out at Owton Manor Social Club.

Prosecutor Jenny Haigh said he took a set of spare keys without his partner’s knowledge in the early hours of the morning on Sunday, April 23.

A police officer saw Dowson in the vehicle speed out of the junction with Maxwell Road and Owton Manor Lane.

Dowson failed to stop and drove along a number of roads including Kilmarnock Road, Eskdale Road, Wynyard Road, Brierton Lane and onto Catcote Road.

“The vehicle reached speeds just over 80mphh, 82mph on CCTV,” said Miss Haigh.

Dowson braked hard to turn into Mowbray Road and lost control, crashing into a lamppost and finally coming to a halt.

When police approached, the car lurched back as if to try to get away, said Miss Haigh, so the officer smashed the driver’s window with his baton and cuffed Dowson.

He failed a roadside breathtest which was 106 microgrammes of alcohol in millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

Dowson, of Dunbar Road, Hartlepool, refused to give a sample for a second test at the police station.

He later pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, aggravated vehicle taking, driving without insurance and failing to provide a specimen.

Stephen Constantine, mitigating, said Dowson had the offer of a job for the first time in his life - at a garage and MOT centre.

Mr Constantine said: “Officers concede traffic was virtually non existent. There was no pedestrians about and the road conditions don’t appear to be too adverse.

“He is someone who comes before the court as contrite, remorseful and if you give him a chance it would be his very last chance.”

Judge Howard Crowson said prison was unavaoidable, particluarly given Dowson’s record which included drink driving.

Jailing him for 10 months, Judge Crowson said: “You were driving very quick, very badly on the wrong side of the road at a time when you were very drunk and had by your own admission taken other substances which impaired your driving.

“It was a matter of chance there was nobody else at significant risk.”