A DRUG-DRIVER has been jailed after being convicted of his sixteenth offence of driving while disqualified.

Blackburn magistrates heard at the time he was stopped in the town Wayne Russell had more than 16 times the legal limit for the cocaine metabolite, benzoylecgonine, and nearly four times the limit for cocaine in his blood.

Russell, 39, of Preston New Road, Blackburn, was found guilty after trial of disqualified driving, drug driving and driving without insurance.

He was jailed for 22 weeks, disqualified from driving for two years and ordered to pay £115 costs on release.

Tracy Yates, prosecuting, said the Honda Civic driven by Russell was stopped because of its speed shortly after midnight on April 21. Russell was behind the wheel but gave false details.

He was arrested after a positive drug swipe but maintained the false identity until checks revealed he was a disqualified driver.

"He claimed he had not been the driver and that he and a female passenger, who was in the back seat, had swapped places," said Mrs Yates.

Neil Howard, defending, said it was accepted the most aggravating feature was his client's record.

"Since being released from his last prison sentence he has worked hard to put his life in order," said Mr Howard.

"He has obtained health and safety qualifications from college and obtained full time employment with a company which develops commercial property."

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He said Russell was not a daily drug user but when he did use accepted it was to excess.

Imposing an immediate prison sentence the chairman of the magistrates said the high level of drugs meant the risk to other users was enormous.

"You have 15 previous convictions for disqualified driving and three of those are in the last four years," said the chairman. "We have no doubt whatsoever this crosses the custody threshold."