A gas engineer has been banned from driving after his company car called 999 when he crashed while drunk.
Alan McShane is pictured outside Newcastle Magistrates Court after sentencing
Alan McShane had been out to watch a football match when he clipped a kerb while driving home.
The crash triggered the airbags on his electric Mercedes EQC 4×4, which automatically alerted the emergency services, a court heard.
Michael Henderson, defending, said his client remembered hearing ‘a voice, part of the safety system, saying “We’ve called emergency services, are you all right?” He didn’t know what was going on. Paramedics turned up, they must have been called by the system.’
Tests revealed McShane, 37, had a blood alcohol level of 110 microgrammes of alcohol per 100ml of breath – more than three times the legal limit of 35 microgrammes. He admitted drink-driving in the early hours of May 17.
Prosecutor Sarah Malkinson said McShane, a senior manager at a heating company, had been out with friends after work to watch Newcastle United’s win against Arsenal when the accident happened. He had been leaving the Central Motorway on his way home to Wallsend, near Newcastle, when he clipped the kerb and crashed into street furniture.
McShane’s Mercedes 4×4 automatically called the police after the accident (file image)
Mr Henderson said McShane had no previous convictions and was ‘basically a hard-working man who, on the night in question, made a significant mistake’. McShane was fined £1,500 at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court, with £230 costs, and banned from driving for 25 months, with the option to reduce the ban by 25 weeks by taking a drink-drive rehabilitation course.
Since September 2014, all new Mercedes have been fitted with an emergency call function that notifies rescue services automatically in the event of a serious crash. The function can provide the vehicle’s GPS position and other important information, such as the number of people in the vehicle and its direction of travel.