A man who crashed a car while he was almost four times the drink-drive limit has been disqualified for over a year.

James Ralph from Glasgow lost control of a vehicle on the A737 at Crossroads near Dalry on December 23 2017.

Ralph, 43, had previously pled guilty to three charges at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court and returned last week for sentencing.

On the night of the offence, Ralph had been out with his friend.

His companion had been driving, but Ralph had offered to take over after the man suffered a bad reaction to medication.

Ralph was caught by police after crashing the vehicle and was found to have 84 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit in Scotland is 22 micrograms.

He was also found to have been driving without insurance and in possession of around £10 worth of cannabis.

Defending Ralph on behalf of Gordon Ghee, solicitor Graeme Cunninghame said: “He and his friend had been out for a drive and went drinking. The friend had been driving the vehicle as stated to the police and he took a reaction and for reasons best known to Mr Ralph, he took over.

“His ‘Good Samaritan’ turned out to be the opposite of that. Had the friend carried on driving however, he would have found himself in Mr Ralph’s position.

“He does have a record, but it’s a record of some vintage. The last conviction is in the last century, in the late 90s. They’re of little or no consequence given the progress of time.

“In relation to the cannabis, he knows he shouldn’t have had it and the amount was of little consequence.

He’s pled guilty to it.” Sheriff Craig Harris said: “Mr Ralph, driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious matter and the court treats it as that and the fact that a road traffic accident occurred as a result of you losing control and that in the end the vehicle ended up upturned, it could have been more serious.

“These matters and although you have a record of some age and pled guilty at the first opportunity, you’re going to be fined £400.” Sheriff Harris also disqualified Ralph from holding or obtaining a licence for 16 months, reduced to 13 months on the successful completion of a drinkdriving rehabilitation course.