A DISQUALIFIED driver refused to give police a drug-drive sample after being pulled over at his local McDonalds, a court heard.

Swales Forest Howard, 27, of William Street, Auckland Park in Bishop Auckland, was stopped by police at the fast food restaurant in the town after driving there – despite having been banned from the roads until March 2020.

The unemployed cannabis user, who still lives with his mother and stepfather, then refused to provide police with a drug sample, Newton Aycliffe magistrates were told this week.

He admitted charges of driving while disqualified, no insurance and failing to provide a specimen for analysis.

Peter Hamill, mitigating, said father-of-one Howard's reasons for driving were 'pointless', that he had trouble thinking about the consequences of his actions, and he needed to sort out his drug use.

Magistrates gave him a 12-month community order and told him to pay a total of £175 in costs and surcharges.