Drink-driver caught out when his Mercedes calls 999 for him after crash
A drink-driver has been caught out by his own car after it called 999 for him following a crash.
Alan McShane, 37, was driving a Mercedes EQC company car which called the emergency services after he crashed it while coming off the Central Motorway in Newcastle.
McShane, a gas engineer from Sunholme Drive, Wallsend, had been driving home from a night out after watching Newcastle United's win over Arsenal in the Premier League on 16 May.
The car's computer system alerted 999 after it clipped a kerb and the airbags were triggered.
Since 2014, all new Mercedes vehicles have been fitted with the automatic emergency call system as standard.
McShane pleaded guilty to drink driving last Monday at Newcastle Magistrates' Court.
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It heard that a test after the crash showed he had a blood alcohol level of 110 micrograms of alcohol per 100ml of breath - more than three times the legal limit of 35 micrograms.
He was given a £1,500 fine, plus other costs of £230, and banned from driving for 25 months, with the option to reduce the ban by 25 weeks by taking a drink driving rehabilitation course.
Prosecutor Sarah Malkinson said: “On the morning of Tuesday, 17 May, officers were asked to attend the scene of a one-vehicle collision on the off-slip of the Central Motorway. A vehicle had collided with the surrounding street furniture.”
She said police found paramedics and the fire service on the scene and that McShane identified himself as the driver of the vehicle.
McShane was taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary hospital in Newcastle for a check-up following the crash, where he fell asleep while being seen by medics, the prosecutor said.
Defending McShane, Michael Henderson said his client had no previous convictions and was “basically a hard-working man who, on the night in question, made a significant mistake”.
He said McShane "could not remember the last time he had a day off" in the run-up to the crash and had not intended to get drunk that evening.
Mr Henderson said: "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.”
He said the collision happened after McShane had clipped the kerb and then airbags in the car had triggered.
Mr Henderson said: “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. Paramedics turned up, I think they must have been called by the system.”
He said McShane had immediately admitted to being the driver of the car when police arrived. He said he was sorry for his actions and had "learnt a hard lesson".
Chair of magistrates Stephen Cape told McShane: “We’ve decided against involving probation at this stage because we’re taking into account your early guilty plea, the fact that you have no previous convictions and that you show remorse."