A PAINTER and decorator was caught drug-driving while returning home to his new puppy, a court has heard.

Anton B Bogdanov, of Ash Road, Bristol, UK, admitted the offence when he appeared before magistrates in Hereford on September 16.

The thirty-three year old had been stopped by police in Edgar Street at around 10pm on April 21 because the Vauxhall Corsa he was driving was showing as uninsured, prosecutor Ralph Robyns Landricombe told the court.

But when officers asked Bogdanov to undergo a roadside drug test, he admitted he had recently smoked cannabis.

Bogdanov was arrested and taken into custody, where an evidential blood test revealed he had 4 microgrammes of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol per litre of blood. The legal limit is 2.

Speaking on his own behalf, Bogdanov said he was returning to Bristol in his friend's car after dropping his friend off with his wife in Herefordshire.

"I had to drive back to Bristol because I have a small puppy," the self-employed painter and decorator said.

"I had given my friend a lift as a favour. He asked me and I could not refuse. I had smoked cannabis at the park, and I drove the car in the evening."

He said there had been nothing worrying him at the time and that he had no reason for smoking the class B drug.

Bogdanov was disqualified from driving for 12 months and fined £200. He must pay costs of £50 and a £34 victim surcharge.