A cone sticking out of the passenger window of a car was a bit of a giveaway to police.

And shortly after sighting this they were involved in a high-speed chase through Whanganui.

On Tuesday, the driver they pursued appeared in Whanganui District Court.

Louis Delves admitted charges of failing to stop for police, driving in a dangerous manner and driving with excess blood alcohol.

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Police attempted to stop Delves on December 21 at 9.45pm after seeing the cone sticking out of the window as he was driving on Glasgow St.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Stephen Butler said Delves attempted to flee towards Victoria Ave, repeatedly crossing the centre line while exceeding speeds of 80km/h in a 50km/h area.

Delves went through a red light at the Victoria Ave intersection, narrowly missing an oncoming car.

The car continued passed Pak 'n Save before losing traction and crashing into a steel fence outside Wanganui Collegiate.

The fence was destroyed and the estimated damage exceeded $6500.

Mr Butler said Delves was carrying two passengers and was verbally abusive towards police while trying to get out of the vehicle.

Defence lawyer Anna Brosnahan said Delves had entered drug and alcohol counselling and was working to improve his behaviour.

"He's given himself a fright."

Judge Dugald Matheson said Delves was fortunate he did not injure himself or others.

"This driving was particularly bad.

"It involved driving in an area ... which is particularly high-density for traffic," he said.

"We are lucky we are not dealing with a matter that has the words 'injury' or 'death' at the end of it."

Delves was sentenced to 12 months' intensive supervision, 200 hours' community work and he was indefinitely disqualified from driving.

"You have an alcohol problem," Judge Matheson said.

"You have a reckless streak in you that is, unfortunately, putting yourself - but, more importantly, other road users - at particular risk."