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Man Caught Drink-Driving After His Own Mercedes Called 999

Don’t drink and drive, kids!

Matti Blume / Wikimedia Commons

Alan McShane, a 37-year-old engineer got into a crash due to drink-driving. His car, a Mercedes, recognized the crash and immediately called the police. Now he’s facing punishment.

McShane was driving home to Wallsend after the Newcastle United—Arsenal match on the 16th of May. On the Central Motorway, he hit the curb, which his car interpreted as a crash. The airbags were triggered and the Mercedes EQC—a company car—called 999. Soon the police were on their way.

What happened when the police arrived?

When the police arrived at the scene, McShane identified himself as the driver—after all, the police hadn’t actually spoken to him yet, just his car!

The police officers could smell alcohol on his breath and noticed him mumbling. Given this, they breathalysed him. 

His blood alcohol level was 110 micrograms of alcohol for each 100ml of breath. This is over three times the legal limit. It’s fair to say he should not have been driving that night.

Why was McShane drink-driving?

McShane says he was drink-driving that night due to a series of mistakes. His workplace had been under extra pressure that week, so he’d found himself eating and drinking very little during the day.

The original plans for the evening had been to have a meal, a drink, and watch the game. However, when he arrived, his friends no longer fancied a meal, just a drink.

He had driven the company car to their meeting spot, and wasn’t worried about parking it as he assumed he’d drive it home fine. Finding himself over the limit, however, McShane faced a difficult decision about driving home after the game.

In his mind, he thought: it’s just a fifteen minute drive home, it’ll be fine. He has since called this decision ‘a mistake.’

What happened at the tribunal?

McShane’s court date happened at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court, where prosecutor Sarah Malkinson put her case to the court. McShane was defended by Michael Henderson.

Henderson’s main defence of McShane was to cast him as a ‘hard-working man’ who ‘made a significant mistake.’

McShane was tired, Henderson argued, saying that McShane ‘could not remember the last time he had a day off.’ The last minute poor decision he made to go ahead drink-driving was ‘obviously […] affected by the alcohol he had consumed.’

McShane pleaded guilty. He ‘learnt a hard lesson’, one he was very sorry for.

How is McShane being punished for drink-driving?

The court decided to fine McShane. The fine was £1,500, alongside other related costs of £230.  He has also been given a driving ban, which will last for 25 months, unless he undertakes a drink driving rehabilitation course. If he decides to do this, 25 weeks will be taken off his 25-month driving ban.

Maybe McShane wouldn’t have gotten into all this trouble if he’d simply drank healthy coke that night. Might not have tasted as good, though.

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