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Police Reform Act 2002

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56 Specimens taken from persons incapable of consentingE+W
This sectionnoteType=Explanatory Notes has no associated

(1)After section 7 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (c. 52) there shall be inserted—

7A Specimens of blood taken from persons incapable of consenting

(1)A constable may make a request to a medical practitioner for him to take a specimen of blood from a person (“the person concerned”) irrespective of whether that person consents if—

(a)that person is a person from whom the constable would (in the absence of any incapacity of that person and of any objection under section 9) be entitled under section 7 to require the provision of a specimen of blood for a laboratory test;

(b)it appears to that constable that that person has been involved in an accident that constitutes or is comprised in the matter that is under investigation or the circumstances of that matter;

(c)it appears to that constable that that person is or may be incapable (whether or not he has purported to do so) of giving a valid consent to the taking of a specimen of blood; and

(d)it appears to that constable that that person’s incapacity is attributable to medical reasons.

(2)A request under this section—

(a)shall not be made to a medical practitioner who for the time being has any responsibility (apart from the request) for the clinical care of the person concerned; and

(b)shall not be made to a medical practitioner other than a police medical practitioner unless—

(i)it is not reasonably practicable for the request to made to a police medical practitioner; or

(ii)it is not reasonably practicable for such a medical practitioner (assuming him to be willing to do so) to take the specimen.

(3)It shall be lawful for a medical practitioner to whom a request is made under this section, if he thinks fit—

(a)to take a specimen of blood from the person concerned irrespective of whether that person consents; and

(b)to provide the sample to a constable.

(4)If a specimen is taken in pursuance of a request under this section, the specimen shall not be subjected to a laboratory test unless the person from whom it was taken—

(a)has been informed that it was taken; and

(b)has been required by a constable to give his permission for a laboratory test of the specimen; and

(c)has given his permission.

(5)A constable must, on requiring a person to give his permission for the purposes of this section for a laboratory test of a specimen, warn that person that a failure to give the permission may render him liable to prosecution.

(6)A person who, without reasonable excuse, fails to give his permission for a laboratory test of a specimen of blood taken from him under this section is guilty of an offence.

(7)In this section “police medical practitioner” means a medical practitioner who is engaged under any agreement to provide medical services for purposes connected with the activities of a police force.

(2)In section 9 of that Act (protection of hospital patients), for subsection (2) there shall be substituted—

(1A)While a person is at a hospital as a patient, no specimen of blood shall be taken from him under section 7A of this Act and he shall not be required to give his permission for a laboratory test of a specimen taken under that section unless the medical practitioner in immediate charge of his case—

(a)has been notified of the proposal to take the specimen or to make the requirement; and

(b)has not objected on the ground specified in subsection (2).

(2)The ground on which the medical practitioner may object is—

(a)in a case falling within subsection (1), that the requirement or the provision of the specimen or (if one is required) the warning required by section 7(7) of this Act would be prejudicial to the proper care and treatment of the patient; and

(b)in a case falling within subsection (1A), that the taking of the specimen, the requirement or the warning required by section 7A(5) of this Act would be so prejudicial.

(3)In section 34(3) of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 (c. 53) (disqualification for certain offences where offender has previous conviction)—

(a)the word “and” at the end of paragraph (b) shall be omitted; and

(b)after paragraph (c) there shall be inserted—

(d)section 7A(6) (failing to allow a specimen to be subjected to laboratory test) where that is an offence involving obligatory disqualification;.

(4)In Schedule 1 to the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 (offences to which sections 1, 11 and 12(1) of that Act apply), in the Table, after the entry beginning “RTA section 7” there shall be inserted—

RTA section 7AFailing to allow specimen of blood to be subjected to laboratory testSections 11 and 12(1).

(5)In Part 1 of Schedule 2 to the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 (prosecution and punishment of offences under the Traffic Acts), after the entry beginning “RTA section 7” there shall be inserted—

RTA section 7AFailing to allow specimen to be subjected to laboratory testSummarily

(a) Where the test would be for ascertaining ability to drive or proportion of alcohol at the time offender was driving or attempting to drive, 6 months or level 5 on the standard scale or both.

(b) In any other case, 3 months or level 4 on the standard scale or both

(a) Obligatory in the case mentioned in column 4(a)

(b) Discretionary in any other case

Obligatory

3-11, in case ment-ioned in column 4(a)

10, in any other case.

(6)In section 143(6)(b) of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 (c. 6) (power to forfeit property used for the purposes of an offence under section 7 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (c. 52))—

(a)after “7” there shall be inserted “ or 7A ”; and

(b)after “test” there shall be inserted “ or to give permission for such a test ”.

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