A 37-year-old has been banned from driving after his Mercedes called 999 and he was found to be over the legal alcohol limit.
Alan McShane was driving his company car, a Mercedes EQC, home to Wallsend after a night out watching Newcastle United’s win against Arsenal when he got into a car accident on 16 May.
The engineer crashed while coming off the Central Motorway, and his Mercedes recognised the incident and contacted the authorities to alert them of the crash.
In a hearing at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court last week, prosecutor Sarah Malkinson explained police officers were asked to attend the scene where McShane identified himself as the driver.
She continued: "The officer noticed the smell of alcohol and that the defendant was mumbling and therefore asked him to provide a sample of breath."
McShane's test revealed he had a blood alcohol level of 110 microgrammes of alcohol per 100ml of breath; more than three times the legal limit of 35 microgrammes.
Michael Henderson, who was mitigating at the hearing on behalf of McShane, said the 37-year-old had no previous convictions and was a 'hard-working man' who 'made a significant mistake'.
Prior to the incident, McShane had been working hard due to a shortage of engineers and 'could not remember the last time he had a day off', Henderson said.
"He went to work on Monday morning, he worked throughout the day, it’s the old story of nothing to eat, very little to drink, and the plan of action was to go into town, have a meal, watch the game on television and go home. He drove into town in a company Mercedes vehicle, he wasn’t concerned when he parked because he was going to drive it home," Henderson continued.
“The people he met didn’t want to go for food, so he had a drink, and in the early hours of the morning he knew he had to drive the car to work, he was concerned about leaving it parked there because it wasn’t his vehicle. He made a mistake - ‘15 minutes to drive home to Wallsend’, that’s what he thought, ‘I will get the car’. Obviously his judgment had been affected by the alcohol he had consumed."
Henderson claimed the collision happened after McShane clipped the kerb and triggered the airbags in the car.
"The next thing was that there was a voice, part of the safety system, saying ‘we’ve called emergency services, are you alright?’ He didn’t know what was going on…," Henderson said.
McShane pleaded guilty to driving over the legal limit, and said he was sorry for his actions and had ‘learnt a hard lesson’.
The engineer was handed a £1,500 fine for the incident as well as other costs of £230. He has been banned from driving for 25 months, with the option to reduce the ban by 25 weeks by taking a drink drive rehabilitation course.
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