A MAN stopped driving on the M65 with his eight-year-old daughter in the car was found to be over the legal limit for cannabis.

Blackburn magistrates heard the officer who stopped Ashley Maher near Burnley could smell cannabis and described his eyes as “glazed and bloodshot.”

Maher, 33, of Shawbrook Road, Leyland, pleaded guilty to driving with above the specified limit of a controlled drug. He was fined £80 with £85 costs and £30 victim surcharge and banned from driving for 12 months.

Phillip Turner, defending, said his client had given a reading of 3.8 against the legal limit of 2 but said this should not be interpreted as being nearly double the limit.

He said there was zero tolerance in the case of drug driving and the level of 2 for cannabis only factored in was the possibility of being contaminated accidentally, perhaps by being in the same room as someone who had been smoking the drug.

“It cannot be compared with drink driving,” said Mr Turner.

“My client denies smoking cannabis that day but accepts he had smoked some previously. It apparently stays in the system longer than many other drugs.”

Mr Turner said his client was the sole carer for his daughter and since the incident had sold his car and bought two bikes so he could cycle to school with her every day. “He has also refrained from smoking cannabis,” said Mr Turner.