A DRUG driver who was seen smoking a cannabis joint behind the wheel of his car has been banned from the roads for three years.

Sean Campbell was hurtling through Gourock when police spotted him puffing away inside his distinctive orange Volkswagen Polo.

The 21-year-old was given the lengthy disqualification period after a sheriff took exception to his attitude towards the offence.

Greenock Sheriff Court heard how Campbell's pupils were 'extremely dilated' and that he was 'swaying' after clambering out of his car.

The aroma of cannabis from the vehicle was so strong that an off-duty officer — who raised the alarm — could smell the drug as he drove behind it.

Defence lawyer Gerry Keenan conceded: "His attitude towards the crime will not put him in a favourable light with the court."

Mr Keenan added: "I have put him right on that."

Prosecutor David Glancy told a previous calling of the case: "Traffic officers in an unmarked car carried out an area search and saw the orange Polo.

"They followed it to Tarbet Street and there was concern about the speed of the vehicle as Tarbet Street is a narrow channel with vehicles parked on both sides.

"Officers saw the driver smoking what appeared to be a large roll-up cigarette."

Police were alerted to the matter at around 5.30pm on May 21 last year and a doctor concluded that Campbell was still unfit to drive when he examined him at 8pm.

Solicitor Mr Keenan said: "He was homeless and estranged from his family at the time, dealing with his problems by ingesting cannabis.

"When he was not sofa-surfing he was sleeping in his car.

"His homelessness has been addressed and he is now staying with his mother."

Sheriff Daniel Kelly told Campbell: "I am concerned about your comments regarding what you think is acceptable in terms of driving and drugs."

The lawman said that the three-year driving ban would have been four years were it not for a guilty plea.

Campbell, of Margaret Street in Gourock, has also been placed under supervision for 12 months and ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work, reduced from 200 hours.