A motorist has been fined £1,000 after admitting being in charge of a vehicle while under the influence of cannabis.

Magistrates also endorsed Matthew Ellis O’Neill’s licence with 10 penalty points.

Prosecuting advocate Barry Swain told the court that police were on patrol in Kirk Michael on December 20 at 9.10pm.

They came across O’Neill, with a friend, sitting in a Ford Fiesta at Kirk Michael beach car park.

He was in the driver’s seat with the ignition on.

A residue of herbal cannabis was found on his clothing and a subsequent drug wipe test proved positive for the class B drug.

O’Neill, who is 20 and lives in Main Road, Kirk Michael, was arrested and taken to police headquarters where he gave a sample of blood.

This later produced a reading of 4.4. The legal limit of cannabis is two.

During an interview, O’Neill told police officers he had smoked a joint 45 minutes before police arrived but that he had not driven after smoking it and had no intent to drive.

He said that he had only turned the ignition on to keep warm.

Defence advocate Jim Travers handed in a letter of reference for his client and asked for credit to be given for his immediate guilty plea, as well as the fact that he had no previous convictions.

‘He was co-operative and forthcoming at the scene,’ said the advocate.

‘He engaged and complied with police in terms of the relevant sample.

‘Mr O’Neill is a resident of Kirk Michael and lives a very short distance from where the vehicle was found.’

Mr Travers said that his client had recently started work in hospitality in Douglas, working unsociable hours, which meant his driving licence was important to him.

O’Neill was said to have attended Motiv8 as part of the Drug Arrest Referral Scheme.

Mr Travers asked magistrates to spare his client from a ban, as it is not mandatory for being in charge of a vehicle while under the influence of cannabis.

Magistrates also ordered O’Neill to pay £125 prosecution costs which he will pay, along with the fine, at a rate of £100 per month.