Road Safety Bill [HL]

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:15 pm on 22nd November 2005.

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Photo of The Earl of Dundee The Earl of Dundee Conservative 4:15 pm, 22nd November 2005

moved Amendment No. 9:

Before Clause 11, insert the following new clause—

"TARGETED BREATH TESTING

(1) Where a police officer of or above the rank of inspector reasonably believes that—

(a) incidents involving persons driving on a road or other public place while unfit to drive through drink or drugs may take place in any locality in his area, and

(b) it is expedient to do so to prevent their occurrence, he may give an authorisation that the powers to administer preliminary tests conferred by this section shall be exercisable at any place within that locality for a period not exceeding 24 hours.

(2) If it appears to an officer of or above the rank of superintendent that it is expedient to do so, having regard to offences which have, or are reasonably suspected to have, been committed in connection with any activity falling within the authorisation, he may direct that the authorisation shall continue for a further 24 hours.

(3) If an inspector gives an authorisation under subsection (1) he must, as soon as it is practicable to do so, cause an officer of or above the rank of superintendent to be informed.

(4) This section confers on any constable in uniform power to administer a preliminary breath test, a preliminary impairment test or a preliminary drugs test pursuant to the provisions of sections 6A to 6D of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (c. 52).

(5) A constable may, in the exercise of those powers, administer any preliminary tests he thinks fit whether or not he has any grounds for suspecting that alcohol or drugs have been consumed.

(6) A person who without reasonable excuse fails to co-operate with a preliminary test in pursuance of a requirement imposed under this section shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale and four penalty points or discretionary disqualification or both.

(7) Any authorisation under this section shall be in writing signed by the officer giving it and shall specify the grounds on which it is given and the locality in which and the period during which the powers conferred by this section are exercisable and a direction under subsection (2) above shall also be given in writing or, where that is not practicable, recorded in writing as soon as it is practicable to do so.

(8) Where a preliminary test is administered by a constable under this section, the driver shall be entitled to obtain a written statement that the test was administered under the powers conferred by this section if he applies for such a statement not later than the end of the period of twelve months from the day on which the test was administered.

(9) In this section—

"vehicle" includes a caravan as defined in section 29(1) of the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 (c. 62);

"preliminary breath test" means a test as specified in section 6A of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (c. 52);

"preliminary impairment test" means a test as specified in section 6B of the Road Traffic Act 1988;

"preliminary drugs test" means a test as specified in section 6C of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

(10) The powers conferred by this section are in addition to and not in derogation of any power otherwise conferred."