A DISQUALIFIED driver found slumped over the wheel of his car at midday on Sunday was nearly three times the legal drink drive limit.

Blackburn magistrates heard police were directed to the McDonald’s car park at Rising Bridge by another motorist who had been so concerned about the standard of Paul Greenhalgh’s driving he had followed him from the M66 motorway.

Greenhalgh, 54, of Elterwater Close, Bury, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol and while disqualified.

He was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months and made subject to a community order for 12 months with nine days alcohol awareness activity and 15 days rehabilitation activity requirement. He was banned from driving for three years and ordered to pay £85 costs and £122 victim surcharge.

Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said Greenhalgh had been banned for 22 months for drink driving in July.

At around noon on Sunday a witness noticed the defendant’s car being driven erratically on the M66.

“He formed the opinion the driver was either drunk or using his mobile phone,” said Miss Allan.

“He decided to follow and contacted the police using his hands-free.”

The witness followed Greenhalgh onto the A56 and then the car park of McDonald’s at Rising Bridge.

“When police arrived he was slumped in the driver’s seat,” said Miss Allan.

“He admitted he had been drinking.”

At the police station Greenhalgh gave a reading of 98 against the legal limit of 35.

Gareth Price, defending, said his client, who runs his own cleaning business employing seven people, received a call from his girlfriend who lives in Morecambe.

“She was in a distressed state and wanted him to come over,” said Mr Price.

“He tried to get a train but there were a number of cancellations and he eventually made the foolish decision to drive.

“He had been driving about 10 minutes when he realised he was in no fit state to drive and pulled over and rang a friend to give him a lift.”