A man attracted the attention of an off-duty police officer because he was driving too slowly.

Blackburn Magistrates' Court was told how John Lavery gave a roadside reading over three times the legal limit, but then failed to provide an evidential sample back at the police station.

Lavery, 34, of Victoria Street, Darwen, admitted to failing to provide a specimen.

He was made subject to an 18-month community order with 15 rehab activity days and 80 hours unpaid work.

He was was also disqualified from driving for 18 months and ordered to pay £85 costs.

Graeme Tindall, prosecuting, said the off-duty officer was driving home on August 14 and was so concerned about the slow speed at which Lavery was driving he contacted police and followed the defendant’s vehicle until it came to a natural stop.

“He approached and showed his warrant card and waited for his uniformed colleagues to arrive,” said Mr Tindall.

“The defendant gave a high reading at the roadside but then failed to provide a sample at the police station."

Kimberley Morton, mitigating, said Lavery had been at work as a painter and decorator then went for some drinks before deciding to drive.

She said Lavery, formerly of Haslingden, was going through a difficult period in his life.

“He split with his partner before this incident and as a result of it he has lost his job, which required him to drive a work’s van.”

Lavery's roadside reading was said to be at least three times over the legal limit, meaning it would have been a minimum of 105 micrograms of alcohol per 100ml of breath, with the legal limit being 35mcg.