A drink driver who led police on a six-mile chase before crashing into another motorist has been jailed for 16 months.
Craig Carter managed to lose pursuing patrol cars on the A19 by driving at 120mph, Teesside Crown Court heard.
“A member of the public reported seeing his blue Audi being driven erratically on the southbound carriageway between Peterlee and Hartlepool,” said Jenny Haigh, prosecuting.
“He pulled into the Windmill Sambuca restaurant’s car park and stopped.
“A police officer spoke to him, but Carter sped off.
“There was a pursuit during which the Audi reached 120mph.
“The police lost sight of the Audi as it turned towards Hartlepool on the A689.”
The court heard Carter was arrested after his car collided with a van in Victoria Street, Seaton Carew.
Carter, (30), of Roundel Street, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, admitted dangerous driving and driving with excess alcohol on January 16.
Andrew Teate, defending, said in mitigation: “Mr Carter had travelled to the area to meet friends, and he had no intention to drive after drinking.
“However, the jovial company became less so, glasses were thrown, so he felt he had to leave and he took the stupid decision to achieve that by driving the car.
“His intention then was to drive a short distance and reassess the situation, which is why he pulled into the restaurant car park.
“He panicked at the sight of the police car.”
Judge Stephen Ashurst jailed Carter for 16 months.
The judge told him: “This was a bad sequence driving while you were more than twice the legal alcohol limit.
“The public quite rightly would not understand if you were not sent to prison for it.”
Carter was banned from driving for three years and eight months, and he must take an extended driving test if he wishes to drive after the ban expires.