A DRIVER who caused a head-on smash on an Ayrshire road while straddling the middle lane was high on cocaine at the time of the crash.

Billy Speirs admitted causing a collision while driving dangerously nearly five times the drug-driving limit.

The 34-year-old was banned from driving at the time of the smash a year ago – with a sheriff noting that he already has a string of previous convictions for getting behind the wheel while disqualified.

Speirs, of Riecawr Avenue, Bellsbank, appeared at Ayr Sheriff Court for sentencing after pleading guilty to driving dangerously on the Barrack Bridge on Patna Road, Kirkmichael on September 19 last year.

He failed to observe an oncoming vehicle on approaching a right-hand bed before crashing into it.

Speirs – who was serving a community-based punishment at the time for an unrelated offence – later supplied a sample with a reading of 242 microgrammes of bezoylecgonine – the main psychoactive ingredient of cocaine – per litre of blood.

The limit in Scotland is just 50 microgrammes.

Procurator fiscal depute Alasdair Millar told the court: “At 5.40pm the witness was driving east between Kirkmichael and Patna with his partner and family dog.

"The accused was driving a black Vauxhall Astra. The accused was driving in the centre of the road, straddling the line.

"On negotiating the bridge corner, the accused saw the oncoming witness. The witness saw him coming straight for him.

"In an attempt to avoid a collision, the accused swerved left, but both front sides came into contact.

"The accused was unable to exit as the door jammed. He sustained an injury to his upper right leg.

“The witness suffered shoulder pain.

"The accused shouted 'sorry'.

"Police attended and he was conveyed to Crosshouse Hospital. The accused's blood was analysed.

"After the incident it was discovered the accused was disqualified."

Speirs’ solicitor said his client appreciated the seriousness of the charge, with the offence committed while Speirs was the subject of a community payback order, and asked for Speirs’ bail to be continued.

Sheriff Desmond Leslie agreed to continue bail and deferred sentence for social work reports, stating: "I think this is his 10th conviction of driving while disqualified.”

Speirs will return to court for sentencing next month.