A driver who was found to be 79 times over the drug-drive limit following a motorway crash has been banned from driving for three years.

Lee Ainsworth, 34, of Lenten Street, Alton, Hampshire, pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention and driving whilst unfit to drive through drugs at Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court.

A Hampshire Police spokeswoman said: “The court heard how Ainsworth was driving a Ford Focus when it collided into the back of a Jaguar on the M3, close to junction 6, shortly before 3.45pm on April 28.

“The passenger of the Focus suffered a facial injury and was taken to hospital. The male driver of the Jaguar and the female passenger suffered minor injuries.”

The spokeswoman said that toxicology tests revealed the amount of benzoylecgonine, a product of cocaine, in his system was 79 times over the specified concentration allowed in law for that substance.

Ainsworth was sentenced to a 12-month community order, disqualified from driving for three years and ordered to do 180 hours’ unpaid work.

A driver blowing into a breathalyserPolice said drink or drug-driving ‘is not worth the risk’ (Liam McBurney/PA)

He will also have to pay £85 in costs and an £85 victim surcharge.

Christopher Pike, from Hampshire Police’s roads policing unit, said: “We were truly shocked when we received the test results.

“By getting behind the wheel that day, knowing how much he had taken, he showed total disregard for the lives of others and it is sheer luck that no-one was seriously hurt or killed.

“No level of drink or drug-driving is acceptable but this was on another scale to anything I have come across before and is one of the highest readings the force has seen.

“We hope this case sends a strong message that we will continue to target those who keep on ignoring these laws.

“The laws are there to protect people’s lives and drink or drug-driving is not worth the risk. The consequences can be fatal.”