A DRIVER crashed into a tree after a 20-minute police chase.

Ryan Burns volunteered to drive his girlfriend’s Astra car home to Horwich following a birthday party at a social club in Blackrod after she had drunk too much.

But 22-year-old Burns, of Vicarage Road, Blackrod, who had been drinking himself, was almost double the legal alcohol limit and uninsured when he got behind of the wheel of the car at 11.30pm on February 15.

Saul Brody, prosecuting, told Bolton Crown Court how Burns was spotted by police after failing to give way to other traffic as he turned on to Manchester Road. But instead of stopping when the officer switched on his blue lights, Burns drove off.

Mr Brody said Burns drove at speeds of up to 80mph, mounting kerbs, driving on a pavement and failed to stop at red lights or at mini roundabouts as he drove through Blackrod, Adlington and Chorley.

Later, in Sheep House Lane, Rivington, he lost control on a right hand bend and hit a brick wall.

But he continued driving until he lost control again and hit a tree further along the road.

A female passenger in the back seat suffered bruised ribs and Burns’ girlfriend, who was the front seat passenger, broke her foot.

Burns was arrested and pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, drink-driving, failing to stop, and driving without insurance.

Paul Tonge, defending, said Burns was a young man from a good family who had never been in trouble before. Sentencing him to nine months in prison, suspended for two years, Judge Timothy Stead said it was lucky that no one was seriously hurt.

Burns was also ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work and banned from driving for three years, after which he must take an extended driving test.

He was also told to pay £200 prosecution costs and a £100 victim surcharge.