Did you hear the one about the Irish motorist caught drink driving after his car automatically alerted police that he had been in a road accident?
Technology is a marvellous thing… the drink driver was caught red handed when the Ford Fiesta contacted the authorities following the accident in County Antrim, Northern Ireland.
Police rushed to Aghalee, a tiny village with less than 1,000 occupants, to help the stricken driver only to discover he was drunk and should’t have been driving in the first place.
An officer at nearby Craigavon was so impressed by the car’s public spirited action that he posted about it on the force’s Facebook page.
The post said: “Some cars these days are pretty clever. Did you know that some can even phone police automatically to let us know you’ve crashed?! That’s a really good safety feature.
“It is however a really bad feature to have if you’re a drink driver.
“That’s right, you’re picking this up correctly – a CAR phoned us to let us know about a crash when it turned out the driver was drunk.”
Driver was one of several caught drink driving
The post added that the driver was one of several arrested and cautioned for drink driving in the area.
It added: “You think you’re having a rough weekend? At least your car hasn’t touted on you!”
The RAC Foundation’s Steve Gooding explained: “Several car companies already offer emergency call options in the case of a collision, using either a phone built into the vehicle or by linking automatically through a driver’s mobile.
“But from April 2018 all new cars in Europe will have to be equipped with co-called eCall technology which, in the event of an accident, will contact rescue services, giving details of things including the location and time of the crash, and the direction of travel, which is important for incidents on motorways.”
According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) each year police conduct around half a million breath tests which result in 70,000 drink-drive convictions.
Caught drink driving? Expect a shedload of woes
Aside from endangering public safety by drink driving, a conviction will lead to a shedload of problems. There’s the immediate impact of prosecution, a criminal conviction, a hefty fine, driving ban, threat of custodial sentence, social stigma and long-term effects such as increased motor insurance premiums in years to come.