A DRUG driver has been banned from the roads and told by a sheriff that what he did was potentially worse than being drunk behind the wheel.

Anthony McLennan, 28, had been smoking cannabis before deciding to take his BMW for a drive along the A78.

Police stopped him regarding a minor motoring matter and could immediately smell the drug from within the car.

Prosecutor David Glancy told Greenock Sheriff Court: "It was also noticed that his speech was slurred and his pupils dilated.

"The accused blew a zero on roadside breathalyser but officers formed the view that he was otherwise impaired."

The court heard that McLennan was examined by a police casualty surgeon more than two hours later and was still under the influence of the drug.

Fiscal depute Mr Glancy said: "A blood sample was canvassed but there was a genuine reason for blood not being provided.

"The accused was cautioned and charged and made no reply."

McLennan, of Clydeview Road in Greenock, committed the offence on the evening of December 2 last year.

His not guilty pleas to charges that he'd ran a red light and failed without reasonable excuse to provide a specimen of urine were accepted by the Crown.

Defence lawyer Gerry Keenan said: "Mr McLennan is in full-time employment as an offshore contract worker and can discharge a monetary penalty."

Sheriff Thomas Ward told McLennan: "Driving while under the influence of drugs is as bad, if not worse, than drinking and driving.

"The trouble here is that we don't know how badly impaired you were."

The sheriff fined McLennan £720, giving him 28 days to pay, and banned him from driving for 62 weeks.