Learner driver Chloe Greenham headed out of Ilkeston for a late-night shopping trip and ended being chased by police at 60mph.
The 18-year-old was panicked by the patrol car on her tail because she should not have been driving alone, magistrates heard.
She was finally halted when police used a stinger to stop her car after several officers got involved in the operation under the control of a ‘tactical pursuit commander’.
She escaped unhurt but must now do 200 hours’ unpaid community work.
Greenham of West End Drive, Ilkeston, was banned from driving for two years and got six months’ custody, suspended for two years.
Nottingham presiding magistrate Keith Hollingsworth told her: “That may seem a bit hard but I am sure if we had sent it to the crown court it would have been harder.”
Neil Hollett, prosecuting, said the roads were wet and there was slight fog when her silver Vauxhall Corsa was seen on Lambourne Drive, Wollaton at 2.40am on December 14.
The officer thought she was breaking the 30mph limit and ‘decided to catch up to speak about the manner of her driving’.
He accelerated but made little ground on Greenham’s car which hit 60mph. Her brake lights came on briefly and the officer thought she might have gone too close to a kerb.
“The officer formed the view that the vehicle could not have had a clear view of the road ahead and would not be able to do an emergency stop should it be required,” said Mr Hollett.
Greenham drove past the Waitrose store on Wollaton Road at 55mph, ignoring the police siren and blue stop lights. Another officer took over as she headed for the A610.
Soon the operation was authorised by a ‘tactical pursuit commander’ and several police cars joined in.
Mr Hollett said: “One officer attempted to get ahead in an attempt to slow it down. However, the vehicle tried to pass the police in an erratic manner.”
The car reached 70mph before police again tried to get in front.
“She swerved violently onto the wrong side of the carriageway,” said Mr Hollett. Later she again drove at 70mph and overtook a slow-moving van.
Finally her car stopped at a roundabout where its front was badly damaged. Greenham was alone and immediately made ‘full and frank admissions’.
Chris Wall, mitigating, said she was stopped by a police stinger device and had never been in trouble before. She had gained GCSE passes and an NVQ as a manager’s apprentice in a doctor’s surgery.
“This started at 3am when she thought ‘I am going to pop to the shops.’ She saw the police and panicked.
“There were no drugs, no alcohol issues. It was an isolated incident, simply a case of panic,” added Mr Wall.
Greenham pleaded guilty to dangerous driving; breaching her provisional licence and insurance terms; two counts of failing to stop when required by police. She will have to take an extended test if she wants to drive again.