A DRINK driver could not stand unaided after being stopped in the early hours of the morning.

Blackburn magistrates heard the arresting officer said in 11 years as a police officer he had never seen a driver "so completely succumbed" to the affects of alcohol.

And he described it as nothing short of a miracle that Robert Baines, who gave a reading more than three times the legal limit, had not crashed the vehicle as he 'played roulette' with the lives of people.

Baines, 29, of Arran Avenue, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to driving excess alcohol. He was made subject to a community order for 12 months with 80 hours unpaid work, disqualified for 26 months and ordered to pay £85 costs and £85 victim surcharge.

Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said police were alerted to the possibility of a drink driver in a black VW Golf.

When PC Matthew St Pierre stopped the car there were four people in the vehicle.

The three passengers all had open cans of drink in their hands and their was an open can of cider in the centre console next to the driver.

Baines was helped out of the car and was so drunk he could not stand unaided.

In his statement PC St Pierre said: "In 11 years as a police officer I have never seen a man behind the wheel of a car so completely succumbed to the affects of alcohol. It is nothing short of a miracle that he did not crash the vehicle.

"By getting behind the wheel of a car in such a state and continuing to drink he was playing a deadly game of roulette with his life, the lives of his passengers and the lives of members of the public. Had the roads not been so quiet due to the time of night he would surely have caused a serious accident."

Imran Hussain, defending, said his client had no previous convictions.

"There is not a moment goes by when he does not regret what he did and wonder why he did it," said Mr Hussain.