A DRINK driver crashed into a tree outside a police inspector's house.

Blackburn magistrates heard the officer phoned in the incident before getting dressed and following Alexander Taylor who walked away from the scene leaving his badly damaged car in the middle of the road.

Taylor, 31, of Bawdlands, Clitheroe, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol. He was banned from driving for 20 months, fined £230 and ordered to pay £85 costs and £34 victim surcharge.

Joseph Broadsmith, prosecuting, said the inspector was at home asleep in bed when he heard a loud noise outside. He looked out to see a "crumpled" Renault with the defendant standing by it.

"The officer saw him retrieve a bag from the back of the car and then walk off," said Mr Broadsmith. "He called the police and then went after the defendant, catching him up further up the road."

Taylor had a cut to his forehead and appeared to be shocked. He was asking the officer if he was on his side and did he see the other car.

"He handed over his car keys to the inspector after admitting he had been drinking and he knew he shouldn't have been," said Mr Broadsmith. "He later told police he had drunk four double rums."

Graeme Parkinson, defending, said his client worked as a manager in the licensed trade and had spent years persuading people not to drive after they had been drinking.

"This occurred because he decided to go and get some cigarettes," said Mr Parkinson. "He should have walked and he appreciates that now."