A DUMBARTON man has been banned from getting behind the wheel until July 2018 for refusing to give police a blood specimen after being stopped on suspicion of drink-driving.

Drew Lannigan claimed he was unable to provide a sample of breath because he had a sore throat – and then turned down officers' request to give them a blood sample instead, saying he had co-operated enough.

Lannigan was charged under section 7 of the Road Traffic Act, with failing to provide a specimen of blood required to ascertain his ability to drive.

And he then compounded his situation by failing to turn up to a court hearing – with his solicitor claiming that 26-year-old Lannigan had “got his dates mixed up” and was attending a family funeral at the time.

The town's sheriff court heard that 26-year-old Lannigan had been stopped on Round Riding Road on October 26 by police who thought they could smell alcohol on his breath.

Fiscal depute Joanne Gilmour told Thursday's hearing: “The accused admitted having a drink earlier in the evening.

“He was taken to Clydebank police office, where the drink-driving procedure was carried out, and provided incomplete specimens of breath. He was given two separate attempts to do so.

“He then indicated he was unable to provide a specimen due to having a sore throat, but hadn't made any mention of this earlier.”

Ms Gilmour said Lannigan had then been asked to provide a specimen of blood, but had refused, saying: “No, cause I've already co-operated with the intoximeter 15 times.”

He was cautioned and charged and replied: “Cause I co-operated from the start? I don't know why I'm getting charged.”

Lannigan's solicitor said his client was of the view he had been given “six or seven” opportunities to blow into the device, at the roadside and then at the police station.

“He explained to the police he had a sore throat,” the solicitor confirmed. “He does accept that he should simply have co-operated with the procedure. He accepts full responsibility.”

Lannigan, of Hawthorn Road, had been handed an interim driving ban when he admitted the offence on March 3, having failed to turn up to a previous hearing on February 13.

His solicitor added: “He is aware he is to be further disqualified.”

Sheriff Simon Pender handed Lannigan fines of £750 for the principal charge and £100 for his failure to appear in court, and imposed a 15-month disqualification.