A former bus driver who refused to provide breath samples for police who suspected him of drink-driving has been banned from the road for more than two years.

Paul Graham, of Deerpark Avenue in Stevenston, pled guilty to two charges at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court.

The court heard that at around 1.30pm on October 7 of last year, witnesses travelling along the A78 at Kilwinning saw Graham’s vehicle “consistently swerving between the lanes and travelling in an erratic manner”. They also noticed that at times, his vehicle seemed to mount the pavement.

Graham stopped at Pollock Crescent and entered a house. Police, who had been contacted by the witnesses, arrived shortly afterwards. They noticed Graham’s vehicle parked on the roadside and were aware of a strong smell of alcohol from him.

Officers arrested Graham and took him to Saltcoats Police Station where he refused to provide breath samples. The 54-year-old said it was because he had high blood pressure and depression.

Graham’s solicitor Ms Craik said: “He was previously employed as a bus driver for 20 years but as a result of this incident he’s lost that employment. He’s currently in receipt of benefits at £70 per week. He tells me that up until this he has never been in unemployment; he has been in work since he was 15.

“On that date he’d a couple of glasses of wine then travelled to his friend’s house and had more while there. He realises he shouldn’t have been driving and regrets that he done so.

“When he arrived at the police office he was fearful of the consequences. Of course, that is no excuse.

“He knows that after today there will be a disqualification. He has sold his car in preparation of that.

“He tells me he has started to suffer some problems with alcohol and has spoken to his doctor about that and is willing to engage in services for that.”

Sheriff Alistair Watson told Graham: “I have to regard your previous driving record. It might not include drink-driving but there are various road traffic offences. I am taking into account your driving record over the years.

“It seems to me that had you provided samples you would have been shown to have a considerable reading.

“With regards to the driving carelessly, although the driving was poor, nothing terrible happened.”

Graham was fined £810 and disqualified from driving for 27 months.