Son's hospital dash while over the limit

Ambulance staff shopped a sick woman's son to the police for drink-driving.

Saturday, 19th March 2016, 12:00 pm
Blackpool Victoria Hospital

Marc Joyce had not been allowed to travel in the ambulance with his mother.

Joyce had been to the pub but he was worried about his mum so he decided to follow the ambulance to Blackpool Victoria Hospital in his car.

He was reported to police by the ambulance crew, but when he was approached by an officer at the hospital, he lied claiming he had been given a lift and his car was parked outside the home he shared with his mum.

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An officer sent to check found no sign of a car at the address and when confronted again, Joyce admitted he had driven there and his car was in the hospital’s multi-storey car park. A test showed he was more than twice over the alcohol limit.

Joyce, a 26-year-old administrator, of Poulton Road, Fleetwood, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol.

Jim Mowbray, prosecuting, said police attended Blackpool Victoria Hospital on February 29 about 1am after ambulance staff reported they suspected Joyce had been drink-driving.

They said they believed he had driven from Fleetwood, following their ambulance, and gave details of his vehicle.

Joyce denied driving saying his cousin had given him a lift, but police noticed he had the keys to a Hyundai car in his hand. He added his car was parked at home, but checks showed this was untrue.

When challenged again, Joyce admitted he had driven himself to the hospital. A breath test showed 89 micrograms of alcohol in his body – 35 is the limit.

Patrick Nelligan, defending, said Joyce, who had no previous convictions, had had no intention of driving.

Mr Nelligan said: “He arrived home to find paramedics attending to his mother. The paramedics decided to take her to hospital, but he was not allowed to accompany her.

“He was stuck between a rock and a hard place and he decided to put his mum’s needs first.

“He has lost his good character and is very ashamed to be standing here.”

Joyce was banned from the road for 22 months and fined £340 with £85 costs plus £34 victims’ surcharge by Blackpool magistrates.