A BUILDER who behaved "like an idiot" by trying to evade police while drink-driving following a friend's wedding has been spared jail.

Michael Cunliffe, 30, tried to outrun two patrol cars during the 20-minute chase, which saw him drive from the event in the Bingley area back towards his home in Roper Lane, Queensbury.

Prosecutor Christopher Styles told Bradford Crown Court that at around 1.30am on August 28, a police patrol car saw a Ford Focus parked on Park Road in Bingley with a "bare-chested man" - Cunliffe - sat inside, with a front-seat passenger also in the car.

As officers approached the vehicle to speak to him, he drove off at speed, resulting in a police pursuit lasting around ten minutes.

After losing the officers, Cunliffe was then spotted by a second patrol car, and again failed to stop.

The second chase, again lasting around ten minutes, saw him reach speeds of 75mph in a 30mph zone, causing his car to be described as "sliding round corners."

He also ran at least one red light before bringing the car to a stop in a driveway.

Mr Styles described Cunliffe as "falling over" as he tried to run from officers and flee the scene.

He was detained by police carrying tasers after being found trying to hide in some bushes.

Cunliffe, who the court heard had no previous convictions, was arrested and admitted his offending to police.

He pleaded guilty to charges of dangerous driving and driving over the prescribed alcohol limit.

When breathalysed by police, Cunliffe registered a reading of 51 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath, above the legal limit of 35.

In mitigation, Anne-Marie Hutton said Cunliffe had drunk "a couple" of drinks at the wedding and had "taken a chance that has come back to bite him."

She said: "The dangerous driving only started when he realised the peril he was in. He appears before the court hanging his head in shame."

She added that Cunliffe, a self-employed builder, had previously held a clean licence for 13 years.

Jailing him for four months, suspended for 18 months, Judge Colin Burn told Cunliffe: "Some would say you behaved like a hardened criminal really, trying to escape the police at high speed. Others would describe it as behaving like an idiot.

"Either way, it is unbelievable there wasn't an accident of some sort.

"It is a matter that definitely passes the custody threshold, but I take the view the sentence can be suspended.

"Apart from this moment of stupidity, you are someone of very good character."

Judge Burn said the public's main concern was "keeping people like you off the roads", and increased Cunliffe's minimum driving ban of 12 months to one of 18 months.

He also ordered him to perform 250 hours unpaid work and pay £300 costs.