A DRINK driver who led police on an early hours high speed chase through the streets of Burnley is facing jail.

Atif Mahmood, 27, first put his foot down in the busy town centre as revellers were milling about, raced over traffic-calming chicanes, overtook coming up to a canal bridge and then hit a bollard as his tyres popped, the town's magistrates heard.

The defendant, who was more than twice the limit, was arrested in a back alley after abandoning the vehicle.

Mahmood, a father to be, was committed on bail to the crown court for sentence on June 22.

The bench, who imposed an interim ban, told him their powers of punishment were not sufficient.

Mahmood, of Bankhouse Road, Nelson, had admitted driving with excess alcohol, dangerous driving and failing to stop for a constable.

Wendy Chappell, prosec-uting, said police were alerted a driver had visited Kitchen's garage.

An officer located the defendant a couple of minutes later in the town centre. The defendant got out of the car but then got back in when he saw the police vehicle.

The officer set off after him with blue lights flashing and sounding his siren and he feared for the public's safety as the centre was busy A trained pursuit driver then took over and saw Mahmood driving erratically towards Daneshouse Road.

Mrs Chappell said Mahmood went along Brougham Street, made no effort to steer around the chicanes and at one point was airborne.

He later gave a breath test showing 97 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 mililitres of breath - the legal limit is 35.

Mark Williams, defending, said Mahmood realised how foolish he had been.

He had had a few drinks and bitterly regretted his decision to get behind the wheel.