A DRUNKEN driver who led police on a chase from Kilwinning to Dalry has been jailed.

Barney McGinley pleaded guilty to a total of five charges in relation to the incident when he appeared at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court last week.

The 30-year-old appeared from custody to admit one charge of failing to stop for police and another of driving dangerously.

McGinley also pled guilty to driving while disqualified, without insurance, and while drunk.

He supplied a breath sample with a reading of 57 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath - almost three times the Scottish limit of 22 microgrammes.


The procurator fiscal depute told the court the chase began at around 1.30am on September 20, when police in a marked vehicle on Dalry Road in Kilwinning spotted a BMW approaching a junction at more than the 30mph limit.

The BMW failed to stop at a traffic light, prompting cops to switch on their lights to get the car to stop.

But the driver - later identified as McGinley - failed to do so and set off at speed.

Police set off in pursuit and alerted another team of officers to try and intercept McGinley as he approached them, but he drifted on to the opposite side of the road to try and evade them.

The 30-year-old, described in court papers as a prisoner at HMP Kilmarnock, then negotiated the Hillend roundabout at the south end of Dalry in the wrong direction. 

He lost control of the car and crashed into a barrier - but police were unable to block him and he made off again, hitting one of the police vehicles in the process.

McGinley, the court heard, negotiated another roundabout the wrong way as he headed into Dalry itself, with officers noting he was driving at more than double the 30mph limit.

McGinley then drove through another red light on Townend Street, driving in the wrong direction towards New Street - and forcing another driver to take evasive action to avoid a collision. 

Police eventually managed to box him in on Beith Road, but McGinley initially revved the engine and refused to step out.

When he finally did so, police noticed a strong smell of alcohol and heard McGinley slurring his words. 

He failed a roadside breath test and was taken to Saltcoats police station - where cops discovered he had been banned from driving earlier in the year.

Neil McPherson, defending, said his client, from Ireland, "knows he is going to prison", and added that "alcohol is playing prominent part in his life so far, serving a life sentence in instalments".

Mr McPherson told the court: "As Mark Twain once said, 'giving up smoking is easy - I have done it hundreds of times'.

"Drinking is the same. He wants to overcome his alcohol problem."

Sheriff Murdo Mactaggart told McGinley he had "a terrible record for driving offences".

McGinley was handed a two-year jail term, backdated to September 20, when he was first taken into custody. 

He was also banned from holding or obtaining a licence for three years.

Sheriff Mactaggart added: “No other sentence is appropriate in the circumstances.”