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Drink Driving

Volume 407: debated on Friday 20 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to his answer of 3 June 2003, Official Report, column 166W, on drink driving, what plans he has to amend police powers to allow evidential breath-testing at the roadside and to increase penalties; when he plans to introduce these changes; and if he will make a statement. [119993]

As stated in our Road Safety Strategy, the Government intend to create a power for police to carry out evidential breath-testing at the roadside. This measure requires primary legislation and will be introduced as soon as parliamentary time permits.With regard to penalty changes, the Criminal Justice Bill, currently before Parliament, provides for an increase in the maximum penalty for causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs from 10 to 14 years' imprisonment. We are planning to implement further penalty changes referred to in the report on the Review of Road Traffic Penalties (July 2002), including those applying to repeat drink-drive offenders, when a suitable legislative opportunity arises.