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Commons Amendment

Volume 413: debated on Tuesday 21 October 1980

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83 Clause 54, page 41, line 43, leave out £25 ' and insert ' £50 '.

4.5 p.m.

My Lords, I beg to move that this House doth agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 83. Clause 54 increases certain maximum fines for offences of drunkenness to take into account the change in the value of money since the penalties were last fixed, and also slightly increases the penalties in real terms so as to make available to the courts a higher fining power to replace imprisonment. The fines were last fixed, by the Penalties for Drunkenness Act 1962, at £5 and £10 respectively, for offences in this section. On reconsideration, we take the view that the implied distinction in gravity is somewhat arbitrary, and the Government therefore accepted this amendment in Committee in another place. The effect of this amendment will be that the three maximum fines specified in Section 70 of the 1903 Act will all be set at £50, which is the first step on the scale—rising from £50 to £1,000—to which all summary maximum fines are gradually being assimilated. The offences under Section 70 cannot readily be distinguished in gravity and it is notable that all three maxima were the same (40 shillings) when they were first set in 1903.

Moved, That this House doth agree with the Commons in the said amendment.—( The Earl of Mansfield.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.