Road Traffic (Amendment) Act (Northern Ireland) 2016

Publication Date:January 01, 2016
 
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Road Traffic (Amendment) Act (Northern Ireland) 2016

2016 (N.I.) c. 11

An Act to Amend the law relating to the prescribed limit of alcohol for drink-driving offences; to make further provision for breath testing; to make provision relating to certain offences being specified as fixed penalty offences; to amend the law relating to disqualification on conviction of certain offences; to amend the law, as respects certain vehicles, relating to the requirements to be satisfied to take a test of competence to drive and the restrictions to which newly qualified drivers are subject for a period after passing such a test; to make provision relating to completion of an approved course as an alternative to licence revocation during a new driver’s probationary period and extending requirements to wear protective headgear; and for connected purposes.

[23rd March 2016]

BE IT ENACTED by being passed by the Northern Ireland Assembly and assented to by Her Majesty as follows:

1 Defined expressions in this Act

PART 1

Defined expressions in this Act

S-1 Defined expressions in this Act

1 Defined expressions in this Act

In this Act—

“the New Drivers Order” means the Road Traffic (New Drivers) (Northern Ireland) Order 1998

“the Offenders Order” means the Road Traffic Offenders (Northern Ireland) Order 1996

“the Order of 1981” means the Road Traffic (Northern Ireland) Order 1981

“the Order of 1995” means the Road Traffic (Northern Ireland) Order 1995,

“the Order of 2007” means the Road Traffic (Northern Ireland) Order 2007.

2 Drink-driving

PART 2

Drink-driving

“The prescribed limit”

“The prescribed limit”

S-2 “The prescribed limit”

2 “The prescribed limit”

(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”

(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

S-3 Breath testing at authorised check-points

3 Breath testing at authorised check-points

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

“17CA. Breath testing at authorised check-points

(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-poin t 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”.

S-4 Check-point breath tests: further provision

4 Check-point breath tests: further provision

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

S-5 Evidential breath test without preliminary breath test or check-point breath test

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

(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 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...

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