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Road Traffic (Amendment) Act (Northern Ireland) 2016

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

PART 2Drink-driving

“The prescribed limit”

“The prescribed limit”

2.—(1) The Order of 1995 is amended as follows.

(2) In paragraph (2) of Article 13 (interpretation of Articles 14 to 21), the definition of “the prescribed limit” is omitted.

(3) After that Article, insert—

13A.    “The prescribed limit”

(1) “The prescribed limit” shall be construed, for the purposes of Articles 14 to 21, in accordance with this Article.

(2) The prescribed limit, in the case of a person who is not a specified person, is (as the case may require)—

(a)22 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath,

(b)50 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, or

(c)67 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of urine.

(3) The prescribed limit, in the case of a specified person, is (as the case may require)—

(a)9 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath,

(b)20 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, or

(c)27 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of urine.

(4) The Department may by order amend paragraph (2)(a) to (c) or (3)(a) to (c) to specify different proportions of alcohol to breath, blood and urine to any of those for the time being specified there.

(5) For the purposes of paragraphs (2) and (3), a specified person is a person who at the time of the alleged offence—

(a)is the holder of a provisional licence,

(b)has been a qualified driver for not more than 2 years,

(c)is the holder of a licence authorising the holder to drive a motor vehicle in a specified category and is driving, attempting to drive or in charge of such a vehicle,

(d)is the holder of a taxi driver’s licence and is driving, attempting to drive or in charge of a taxi when it is being used in standing or plying for hire or reward or to carry passengers for hire or reward,

(e)is purporting to be the holder of a licence mentioned in sub-paragraph (c) or (d) and is driving, attempting to drive or in charge of a motor vehicle in a specified category or taxi, or

(f)does not hold a licence authorising him to drive a motor vehicle of the category or class which he is driving or attempting to drive.

(6) For the purposes of—

(a)paragraph (5)(b)—

(i)a person becomes a qualified driver on the first occasion on which he passes any test of competence to drive mentioned in paragraph (2)(a) or (b) of Article 3 of the Road Traffic (New Drivers) (Northern Ireland) Order 1998,

(ii)in determining whether a person has been a qualified driver for not more than 2 years, any time during which a person is disqualified from holding or obtaining a licence, or holds a provisional licence only, shall be disregarded,

(b)paragraph (5)(c) and (e), “a motor vehicle in a specified category” means a motor vehicle included in any of the following categories specified in column (1) of Schedule 1 to the Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996 (and defined in column (2) of that Schedule opposite that category), namely C, C1, D, D1, C+E, C1+E, D+E, D1+E or F,

(c)paragraph (5)(d), “taxi driver’s licence” means a licence granted under section 23 of the Taxis Act (Northern Ireland) 2008,

(d)paragraphs (5)(d) and (e), “taxi” has the same meaning as in section 57(1) of that Act,

(e)paragraph (5)(f)—

“category” means any category specified in column (1) of Schedule 1 to the Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996 (and defined in column (2) of that Schedule opposite that category),

“class” means a class included in any such category.

(7) The Department may by order—

(a)amend paragraph (5) by adding any further description of specified person or altering or omitting any description of specified person for the time being mentioned there,

(b)make any amendment of paragraph (6) that it considers appropriate for giving full effect to any such amendment of paragraph (5),

(c)amend paragraph (6)(b) by adding any further category of motor vehicle or altering or omitting any category for the time being mentioned there..

Breath testing at authorised check-points

Breath testing at authorised check-points

3.—(1) After Article 17C of the Order of 1995, insert—

17CA.    Breath testing at authorised check-points

(1) A constable who is on duty at a check-point may require—

(a)a person driving a motor vehicle stopped at the check-point, and

(b)any person in charge of such a vehicle,

to co-operate with a check-point breath test administered to the person by the constable or another constable.

(2) A check-point breath test is a procedure whereby the person to whomthe test is administered provides a specimen of breath to be used for the purpose of obtaining, by means of a device of a type approved for the purpose of administering a preliminary breath test, an indication whether the proportion of alcohol in the person’s breath or blood is likely to exceed the prescribed limit.

(3) The establishment of a check-point for the purposes of this Articlemust be authorised by a member of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, not below the rank of inspector; and a check-point for those purposes may be authorised to be established in any public place.

(4) Authorisation under paragraph (3) must be in writing and specify—

(a)the public place where the check-point concerned is to be located, and

(b)the day (or days) on which, and the hours between which, it may be operated.

(5) A check-point breath test administered in reliance on this Article maybe administered only at or near the check-point; and a constable may administer such a test by virtue of paragraph (1) only if the constable is in uniform.

(6) A person commits an offence if without reasonable excuse he fails toco-operate with a check-point breath test in pursuance of a requirement imposed under this Article..

(2) In Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the Offenders Order (prosecution and punishment of offences under the Road Traffic Orders), after the entry relating to offences under Article 17 of the Order of 1995 insert—

Article 17CA(6)Failure to co-operate with check-point breath test.Summarily.Level 3 on the standard scale.Discretionary.Obligatory.4.

Check-point breath tests: further provision

4.—(1) The Order of 1995 is amended as follows.

(2) In Article 13(3) (what constitutes co-operation with preliminary test), after “a preliminary test” insert “or check-point breath test”.

(3) In Article 17D (arrest following preliminary breath test)—

(a)in paragraph (1), after “a preliminary breath test” insert “or check-point breath test”,

(b)in paragraph (2), in sub-paragraph (a), after “Article 17” insert “or a check-point breath test under Article 17CA”,

(c)in paragraph (2A), after “the preliminary test” insert “or check-point breath test”.

(4) In Article 18 (provision of specimens for analysis)—

(a)after paragraph (1), insert—

(1A) A constable may, subject to the following provisions of thisArticle, require a person whom he may require to co-operate with a check-point breath test under Article 17CA—

(a)to provide 2 specimens of breath for analysis by means of a device mentioned in paragraph (1)(a), or

(b)to provide a specimen of blood or urine for a laboratory test.,

(b)in paragraph (3), after “paragraph (1)(a)” insert “or (1A)(a)”,

(c)in paragraph (4), after “(1)(b)” insert “or (1A)(b)”.

Evidential specimens

Evidential breath test without preliminary breath test or check-point breath test

5.—(1) The Order of 1995 is amended as follows.

(2) In Article 17D (power of arrest)—

(a)after paragraph (1A) insert—

(1B) A constable may arrest a person without warrant if—

(a)the constable—

(i)in accordance with paragraph (2)(c) of Article 18, has required him to provide specimens of breath under that Article, and

(ii)has not required him to co-operate with a preliminary breath test or a check-point breath test, and

(b)as a result of the provision by the person of such specimens, the constable reasonably suspects that the proportion of alcohol in his breath or blood exceeds the prescribed limit.,

(b)in paragraph (2), for “and” after sub-paragraph (a) substitute

or

(aa)the person fails to provide a specimen of breath in pursuance of a requirement under Article 18 made in accordance with paragraph (2)(c) of that Article, and,

(c)in paragraph (2A)—

(i)the words from “may,” to the end become sub-paragraph (a),

(ii)after that sub-paragraph insert—

(b)may, instead of being taken to a police station, in the circumstances mentioned in paragraph (1B)(a), be detained at or near the place where the requirement to provide specimens of breath was, or would have been, made..

(3) In Article 18 (provisions of specimens for analysis)—

(a)for paragraph (2), substitute—

(2) A requirement under this Article to provide specimens of breathmay be made only—

(a)at a police station or hospital,

(b)in circumstances in which—

(i)Article 17(5) applies, and

(ii)the constable has imposed a requirement on the person concerned to co-operate with a preliminary breath test,

at or near the place where the preliminary breath test was so administered or would have been so administered but for the failure to co-operate with it, or

(c)in circumstances in which Article 17(5) does not apply, at a place other than a police station or hospital if—

(i)the constable reasonably suspects that the proportion of alcohol in the person’s breath or blood exceeds the prescribed limit, and

(ii)a device mentioned in paragraph (1)(a) is available to be used for the taking of the specimens.,

(b)paragraphs (2A) and (2B) are omitted,

(c)in paragraph (2C), for “relevant breath test” substitute “preliminary breath test or check-point breath test”,

(d)in paragraph (3), after “is” insert “in uniform and”.

Choice of specimens

6.  Article 19 of the Order of 1995 (choice of specimens of breath) is amended asfollows—

(a)for the title, substitute “Lower of 2 specimens of breath to be used”,

(b)in paragraph (1), the words “Subject to paragraph (2),” are omitted,

(c)paragraphs (2), (2A) and (3) are omitted.

Fixed penalty offences

Graduated penalty points for certain drink-driving offences as fixed penalty offences

7.  In Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the Offenders Order (prosecution and punishment of offences under the Road Traffic Orders)—

(a)in the entry relating to offences under Article 16(1)(a) of the Order of 1995 (driving or attempting to drive with excess alcohol in breath, blood or urine), in column (7), after “3-11” insert “or appropriate penalty points (graduated fixed penalty)”,

(b)in the entry relating to offences under Article 16(1)(b) of that Order (being in charge of a motor vehicle with excess alcohol in breath, blood or urine), in column (7), for “10” substitute “3-11 or appropriate penalty points (graduated fixed penalty)”.

Reduced penalty for course completion

8.—(1) The Offenders Order is amended as follows.

(2) After paragraph (2) of Article 59 (provision that may be included in an order prescribing the amount of fixed penalty for a fixed penalty offence), insert—

(2A) In relation to an offence which is specified in an order underArticle 57(2) as a fixed penalty offence, paragraph (2) shall be read as if the circumstances mentioned there include (in particular) also whether, by the relevant date, the offender satisfactorily completes an approved course specified in the fixed penalty notice or conditional offer in question..

(3) After paragraph (3) of that Article, add—

(4) In paragraph (2A)—

“an approved course” means a course approved by the Department for the purposes of Article 36 in relation to offences under the same statutory provision as the offence in question;

“conditional offer” means a notice under Article 80;

“the relevant date” means such date, not later than 6 months after the day on which the fixed penalty notice or conditional offer for the offence in question is given to the offender, as is specified in the notice or offer..

(4) In paragraph (1) of Article 64A (effect of endorsement of driving record without hearing: penalty points attributable on conviction also attributable as fixed penalty), at the beginning insert “Subject to Article 64B,”.

(5) After that Article, insert—

64B.    Qualification of Articles 64A(1) and 82A(7): reduced penalty points for course completion

(1) In relation to an offence which is specified in an order underArticle 57(2) as a fixed penalty offence, Article 30(3B) shall be read as if the circumstances mentioned there include (in particular) also whether, by the relevant date, the offender satisfactorily completes an approved course specified in the fixed penalty notice or conditional offer in question.

(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1), “an approved course”,“conditional offer” and “the relevant date” each has the same meaning as in Article 59(4)..

(6) In paragraph (7) of Article 82A (effect of endorsement of driving record where fixed penalty under conditional offer paid: penalty points attributable on conviction also attributable as fixed penalty), at the beginning insert “Subject to Article 64B,”.

Approved course: completion and failure to complete

9.—(1) After Article 59 of the Offenders Order (amount of fixed penalty for fixed penalty offence), insert—

59A.    Certificate of completion of approved course

(1) This Article and Articles 59B and 59C apply where—

(a)the amount of fixed penalty for a fixed penalty offence, by virtue of an order under Article 59(1) (and pursuant to Article 59(2A)) is dependent on whether, by the relevant date, the offender satisfactorily completes an approved course, or

(b)the number of penalty points attributable to such an offence, by virtue of an order under Article 30(3A) (and pursuant to Article 64B(1)) is so dependent.

(2) An offender shall be regarded as having completed an approvedcourse satisfactorily only if a certificate that the offender has done so, given by the course provider, is received by the Chief Constable not later than 28 days after the relevant date.

(3) The course provider shall give a certificate referred to in paragraph(2) to the offender not later than 14 days after the relevant date unless the offender—

(a)fails to make due payment of fees for the course,

(b)fails to attend the course in accordance with the course provider’s reasonable instructions, or

(c)fails to comply with any other reasonable requirement of the course provider.

(4) Where the course provider decides not to give a certificate referredto in paragraph (2) to the offender, the provider shall give written notice of the decision to the offender as soon as possible, and in any event not later than 14 days after the relevant date.

(5) An offender to whom notice is given under paragraph (4) may, notlater than 21 days after the date of the notice, apply to the Chief Constable for a declaration that the course provider’s decision not to give a certificate referred to in paragraph (2) was contrary to paragraph (3).

(6) If the Chief Constable grants an application under paragraph (5), thecertificate referred to in paragraph (2) shall be treated for the purposes of that paragraph as having been duly received by the Chief Constable.

(7) If, 14 days after the relevant date, the course provider has given neither—

(a)a certificate referred to in paragraph (2), nor

(b)notice under paragraph (4),

the offender may, not later than 21 days after the 14th day, apply to the Chief Constable for a declaration that the course provider is in default.

(8) If the Chief Constable grants an application under paragraph (7), thecertificate referred to in paragraph (2) shall be treated for the purposes of that paragraph as having been duly received by the Chief Constable.

(9) Where the Chief Constable receives a certificate under paragraph(2), or grants an application under paragraph (5) or (7), notice of that fact must be sent by or on behalf of the Chief Constable to the Department.

(10) In—

(a)this Article, “an approved course” and “the relevant date” have the same meanings as in Article 59(4),

(b)this Article and Article 59B, “course provider” means the person by whom the course is, or is to be, provided.

59B.    Approved course completion: further provision

(1) A certificate referred to in paragraph (2) of Article 59A is tobe in such form and to contain such particulars as may be determined by the Department.

(2) Notice by a course provider under paragraph (4) of that Article shallspecify the ground on which it is given and be in such form as may be determined by the Department.

(3) Notice under that paragraph shall, for the purposes of that paragraph,be treated as given to the offender if it was sent by registered post or recorded delivery service addressed to the offender at his last known address, notwithstanding that it was returned as undelivered or was for any other reason not received by the offender.

(4) In the application of section 24 of the Interpretation Act (NorthernIreland) 1954 (service of documents) to giving notice under paragraph (4) of Article 59A, in subsection (1) the word “registering” is omitted.

(5) In determining, for the purposes of paragraph (5) or (7) of thatArticle, whether any instruction or requirement of a course provider was reasonable, the Chief Constable shall have regard to any guidance given to the provider under Article 38(1).

(6) Notice under paragraph (9) of Article 59A must be sent in suchmanner and to such address, and must contain such particulars, as the Department may determine.

59C.    Failure to complete course: consequences

(1) Paragraph (2) applies where a certificate referred to inparagraph (2) of Article 59A that the offender has completed an approved course satisfactorily is neither—

(a)received by the Chief Constable in accordance with that paragraph, nor

(b)treated by virtue of paragraph (6) or (8) of that Article as having been duly received by the Chief Constable.

(2) Notice shall be given to the offender by or on behalf of the Chief Constable—

(a)specifying—

(i)the amount of fixed penalty to be paid in consequence of the offender’s failure by the relevant date satisfactorily to complete an approved course,

(ii)the date by which the fixed penalty must be paid, and

(iii)the clerk of petty sessions to whom, and the address at which, it may be paid, and

(b)requiring the offender to deliver, in accordance with paragraph (3), the notice and (if the offender is the holder of a licence and the offence to which the notice relates is an offence involving obligatory endorsement) the offender’s licence.

(3) The notice and (as the case may be) licence must be delivered by theoffender—

(a)in person,

(b)before the expiry of 14 days after the date of the notice,

(c)to a constable or authorised person at the police station specified in the notice.

(4) Notice must be given by or on behalf of the Chief Constable to thefixed penalty clerk of the giving of notice under paragraph (2) and the terms of any such notice.

(5) A licence surrendered in accordance with notice under paragraph (2)shall be sent to the fixed penalty clerk.

(6) An offender who fails to comply with notice under paragraph (2)commits an offence.

(7) Notice under paragraph (2) must be in such form as may bedetermined by the Department.

(8) Where, on the expiry of the period specified in any notice givenunder paragraph (2), the amount of fixed penalty specified in the notice has not been paid, the fixed penalty clerk must notify the Chief Constable.

(9) In this Article, “authorised person” has the same meaning as inrelation to a fixed penalty notice given at a police station (see Article 60(8))..

(2) In paragraph (1) of Article 62 of the Offenders Order (receipt for licence on its surrender), after “Article 60” insert “or (as the case may be) notice under Article 59C(2)”.

(3) In Part 1 of Schedule 1 to that Order (prosecution and punishment of offences under the Road Traffic Orders), after the entry relating to offences under Article 38A(12) of that Order insert—

Article 59C(6)Failure to comply with notice under Article 59C(2) requiring payment of fixed penalty and delivery of licence.Summarily.Level 3 on the standard scale..

Payment of fixed penalty: failure to complete course

10.—(1) In Article 61(3)(b) of the Offenders Order (effect of fixed penalty notice given under Article 60), after “period” add “or (as the case may be) the end of the period specified in a notice given to him in relation to the offence under Article 59C(2)”.

(2) In Article 74 of that Order (method of payment of fixed penalty)—

(a)in paragraph (1), after “notice” insert “or notice under Article 59C(2)”,

(b)in paragraph (2), after “notice” insert “, or (as the case may be) notice under Article 59C(2),”,

(c)in paragraph (3), after “notice” insert “, or (as the case may be) notice under Article 59C(2),”,

(d)in paragraph (5)—

(i)for “penalty or fixed penalty notice” substitute “penalty, fixed penalty notice or notice under Article 59C(2)”,

(ii)for “the fixed penalty notice” to the end, substitute “the notice in question”.

(3) In Article 75(4)(a) of that Order (registration certificate for enforcement of unpaid fixed penalty), after “notice” insert “or notice under Article 59C(2)”.

Endorsement of further penalty points: failure to complete course

11.—(1) In Article 63A of the Offenders Order (endorsement of driving records without hearings)—

(a)in paragraph (1), after “Article 60” insert “or notice under Article 59C(2)”,

(b)in paragraph (3)—

(i)after “period” insert “or (as the case may be) of the Article 59C(2) notice period”,

(ii)after “Article 60” insert “or (as the case may be) in pursuance of notice under Article 59C(2)”,

(c)in paragraph (5)(b), after “period” insert “or (as the case may be) the end of the Article 59C(2) notice period”,

(d)after paragraph (6), add—

(7) In this Article, “the Article 59C(2) notice period” means the periodspecified in a notice relating to the offence under Article 59C(2)..

(2) In Article 82A of that Order (endorsement of driving records where penalty under conditional offer paid)—

(a)in paragraph (1), after “Article 80(1)” insert “or (as the case may be) notice under Article 59C(2)”,

(b)in paragraph (2)(b), after “80(1A)” insert “or (as the case may be) notice under Article 59C(2)”,

(c)in paragraph (3)(b), after “conditional offer” insert “or (as the case may be) notice under Article 59C(2)”.

Disqualification on conviction

Minimum disqualification: offence under Article 14(1)(b) or 16(1)(a) of the Order of 1995

12.—(1) In paragraph (1) of Article 35 of the Offenders Order (minimum disqualification on conviction of certain offences), after “disqualification,” insert “(except where paragraph (1ZA), (1ZB) or (1ZC) provides otherwise)”.

(2) After that paragraph, insert—

(1ZA) Paragraph (1) shall apply as if the reference there to 12 monthswere a reference to 6 months, in relation to a person convicted of an offence under Article 16(1)(a) of the Order of 1995 (driving or attempting to drive when exceeding the prescribed limit), where the proportion of alcohol in his body did not exceed—

(a)34 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath,

(b)79 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of blood, or

(c)105 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine.

(1ZB) Paragraph (1) shall apply as if the reference there to 12 monthswere a reference to 18 months, in relation to a person convicted of an offence under Article 14(1)(b) of the Order of 1995 (causing death, or grievous bodily injury, by careless driving when exceeding the prescribed limit) or Article 16(1)(a) of that Order, where the proportion of alcohol in his body—

(a)exceeded 54 microgrammes, but did not exceed 87 microgrammes, per 100 millilitres of breath,

(b)exceeded 124 milligrammes, but did not exceed 199 milligrammes, per 100 millilitres of blood, or

(c)exceeded 165 milligrammes, but did not exceed 265 milligrammes, per 100 millilitres of urine.

(1ZC) Paragraph (1) shall apply as if the reference there to 12 monthswere a reference to 2 years, in relation to a person convicted of an offence under Article 14(1)(b) or 16(1)(a) of the Order of 1995, where the proportion of alcohol in his body—

(a)exceeded 87 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath,

(b)exceeded 199 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of blood, or

(c)exceeded 265 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of urine..

Increased disqualification for repeat offences

13.—(1) In paragraph (3) of Article 35 of the Offenders Order (disqualification on conviction of certain repeat offences within 10 years)—

(a)for “paragraph (1)” substitute “paragraphs (1), (1ZA), (1ZB) and (1ZC)”,

(b)for “reference to 12 months” substitute “references respectively there to 12 months, 6 months, 18 months and 2 years”.

(2) After that paragraph, insert—

(3A) For the purposes of paragraph (3), endorsement of the person’sdriving record in accordance with Article 63A for a prior offence falling within any of sub-paragraphs (a) to (e) of that paragraph, within the 10 years immediately preceding the commission of the current offence, is to be treated as conviction of the prior offence..

(3) In paragraph (4)(b) of that Article (disqualification on conviction of other repeat offences within 3 years), after “a person” insert “(other than a person falling within paragraph (1ZA), (1ZB) or (1ZC))”.

Reduced disqualification for course completion

14.—(1) Article 36 of the Offenders Order (reduced disqualification period for attendance on course) (as substituted by Article 11(1) of the Order of 2007) is amended as follows.

(2) After paragraph (4), insert—

(4A) Where the person is convicted of a relevant drink offence, thecourt must, unless for special reasons it thinks that to do so is inappropriate and subject to paragraph (9), make an order that the period of disqualification imposed under Article 35 (“the unreduced period”) shall be reduced if, by the relevant date, the offender satisfactorily completes an approved course specified in the order..

(3) In paragraph (5)—

(a)for “this Article applies” substitute “the person is convicted of a specified offence”,

(b)for “period”, where it first occurs, to “period)” substitute “unreduced period”.

(4) In paragraph (6), for “paragraph (5)” substitute “paragraphs (4A) and (5)”.

(5) In paragraph (9)—

(a)after sub-paragraph (b), insert “and”,

(b)the word “and” after sub-paragraph (c) is omitted,

(c)sub-paragraph (d) is omitted.

Miscellaneous

Administration costs in relation to approved courses

15.  After Article 54 of the Offenders Order, insert—

54A.    Administration costs in relation to approved courses

(1) The Department may, by regulations made subject tonegative resolution, make provision as to—

(a)the payment to the Department by course providers of courses approved for the purposes of Article 32A or 36 of costs reasonably incurred by it in relation to the management and administration of such courses (including monitoring, reviewing and evaluating their content and effectiveness and issuing guidance to course providers as to the conduct of such courses),

(b)the apportionment of such costs among providers of such courses.

(2) In this Article, “course provider” means the person by whom thecourse is, or is to be, provided..

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