A would-be heroin dealer who travelled along the A9 under the influence of drugs avoided a jail sentence yesterday at Inverness Sheriff Court.
George Stewart, 45, was driving from the Tore Roundabout to Inverness when the driver following him saw him swerve across the dual carriageway, bounce off kerbs and mount the central reservation, the court heard.
Fiscal depute Michelle Molley told the court the two cars pulled alongside each other on reaching the Longman roundabout.
She said: “The witness could see his tongue is hanging out and his eyes are rolling. She is so concerned she calls the police.”
The police caught up with Stewart near his home address at 19 Anderson Street, Inverness.
He passed a breathalyser test but officers could see Stewart was sleepy, slow to respond and unsteady on his feet and he failed an impairment test.
The officers then searched him and found 29 grams of heroin hidden in a package in his mouth.
Ms Molley said the drug would be worth £2,900 on the street.
Stewart admitted driving while unfit due to drink or drugs on April 7 between Tore roundabout and Anderson Street in Inverness.
He also admitted being in possession of heroin with intent to supply.
His solicitor, Duncan Henderson, said heroin had “blighted the adult life” of the married father of two who had attempted to detox at Osprey House in Inverness.
He added that despite Stewart’s criminal record he has a “strong work ethic” and “clearly cares about his family”.
Mr Henderson said possessing drug with intent to supply was normally dealt with by a jail sentence but pleaded for an alternative for Stewart.
He said: “He hopes to be allowed to be able to participate in a two-year drug treatment and testing order in order that he can tackle this addiction. He very much wants to be free of this.”
He added that Stewart was “not making money” out of the heroin he possessed.
Sheriff David Sutherland sentenced Stewart to a two-year drug treatment and testing order with 200 hours of unpaid work. He also banned him from driving for two years.