A man was almost five times over the drink-drive limit when he crashed down the seafront embankment at Blackpool.
Karl Mausolf crossed tram tracks, smashed through a concrete fence and slid down the embankment.
His Vauxhall Astra was only prevented from crashing onto the Lower Promenade near Red Bank Road, Bispham, where people could have been walking, by large rocks.
Mausolf, a 49-year-old floor layer, of Grenfell Avenue, Layton, pleaded guilty to failing to provide a blood specimen having been suspected of driving with excess alcohol.
Pam Smith, prosecuting, said police received a report a witness had seen a car crash through a concrete fence onto the embankment on March 7 at 1.45pm.
When an officer spoke to Mausolf in the back of an ambulance and asked if he had been trying to hurt himself, the court was told the defendant laughed and replied: “Hurt myself – I was trying to kill myself.”
A breath test taken from Mausolf in the ambulance showed 164 micrograms of alcohol in his body – 35 is the limit.
The prosecutor said: “The police officer said in his report that it was the highest alcohol reading he had seen in 23 years’ service.”
Mausolf was taken to hospital where a police force medical examiner tried and failed on the first attempt to take a blood sample from him. As the doctor went to reinsert the needle Mausolf refused to have a sample taken.
In a report to the court probation officer Lesley Whittaker told magistrates that Mausolf said he had separated from his partner and about a year ago found out his stepdaughter had cancer. Towards the end of last year he was told his stepdaughter had died and he became depressed.
Mausolf told the probation officer that on the day of the offence he was not feeling suicidal. He said he could not remember drinking any alcohol at all. He just remembered going out to buy some gherkins and then waking up in hospital with broken ribs.
Steven Townley, defending, said Mausolf had mental health problems and after the crash spent some time in a psychiatric hospital.
Mausolf had co-operated to some extent in having a blood sample taken, but like many people might he had pulled his arm away after a specimen of his blood could not be obtained the first time.
Mausolf was sentenced to nine weeks’ prison suspended for 12 months, with up to 20 days’ rehabilitation to be supervised by the Probation Service, disqualified from driving for 29 months and ordered to pay £85 costs with £80 victims’ surcharge by Blackpool magistrates.