A DRIVER on a "rescue mission" who was involved in a late-night collision told police he shouldn't have been driving because he had drunk about five pints.

Blackburn magistrates heard Timothy Mitchell gave a breathalyser reading of 85 against the legal limit of 35.

Mitchell, 47, of Tunnel Street, Darwen, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol. He was fined £240 with £85 costs and £34 victim surcharge and banned from driving for 22 months.

Briony Cook, prosecuting, said police were called to a two car road traffic collision in Hardman Way, Darwen, at 10pm.

Mitchell admitted one of the cars was his and that he shouldn't have been driving. He also said he would lose his job and went over to the other driver and apologised.

Aftab Bakhat, defending, said there was never any justification for drink driving but said he thought it was important to put his client's decision making in context.

He said Mitchell had been in a relationship for two years and his partner had previously suffered a breakdown.

He health was further complicated in May when she had two spinal procedures which rendered her housebound.

"On the night of this incident she had left the house for the first time in a long time to meet up with some old friends," said Mr Bakhat.

"He received a call to say she had been separated from her friends, had no money and needed to be rescued. He foolishly decided to get to her as quickly as he could and got in his car."

Mr Bakhat said his client had an exemplary driving record for the last 25 years.

The chairman of the magistrates aid they accepted it had been a foolish decision in an attempt to help someone else.