A YOUNG driver who “stupidly” took a car from his family home while under the influence of drugs and only holding a provisional licence has been fined and banned from the roads.

Jay Jay Murray, 23, was convicted last week at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court of driving the vehicle without a valid licence or insurance policy and after having smoked cannabis.

The Kilwinning man was found to have driven the vehicle at Portencross Road, West Kilbride on April 5 last year whilst not accompanied by a qualified driver or displaying ‘L’ plates.

The procurator fiscal depute told Thursday’s (March 3) hearing: “At 11.35am police officers on mobile patrol observed a vehicle parked at the side of the road in front of a farm gate.

Kilmarnock Sheriff Court

Kilmarnock Sheriff Court

“The accused was asked to move the vehicle, and police noted that the vehicle smelled of cannabis.

“The accused was asked to stop the engine and a search of the vehicle was carried out.

“The accused freely stated that he had been smoking cannabis.”

A roadside swab provided a positive result for the class B drug and Murray was then taken to Saltcoats police office where a blood sample returned a reading of 5.8mcg of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) - the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis - per litre of blood, exceeding the limit of 2mcg per litre.

The fiscal depute added: “Further checks showed that the accused did not hold a valid licence or insurance certificate.

“He has a provisional licence only.

“He has completed 20 driving lessons and his father had purchased the car with a view to him passing his test.”

Murray’s solicitor said the incident had been a “lesson hard learned” for his client, adding that he “stupidly took the car and was stopped by police”.

Sheriff Brown issued Murray, of Church Street, with a £540 fine payable at a rate of £20 per fortnight.

He was also disqualified from holding or obtaining a driving licence for a period of 12 months.