Lords Amendment: No. 1, in page 2, line 33, at the end, insert:
Provided that no requirement may be made by virtue of paragraph (b) of this subsection unless it is made as soon as reasonably practicable after the commission of the traffic offence.
§ 11.0 p.m.
§ The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport (Mr. John Morris)
I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.
It was pointed out in another place that the subsection was open to misinterpretation. It was a possible though unlikely interpretation of the Clause as it stood that a driver might be required to provide a specimen of breath for breath tests in respect of a moving traffic offence committed weeks or even years earlier. On reconsideration the Government accept that the Bill should express the intentions of Parliament more clearly, so that there might be a safeguard against any possibility of old offences being raked up from the past, in an unreasonable way.
§ Mr. T. G. D. Galbraith (Glasgow, Hillhead)
This Amendment shows the value of the other place. The possible weakness in the Bill as originally drafted was not recognised by anyone in this House, despite the very thorough examination that we gave it. This is because we had all assumed that it was the intention that the tests should follow almost immediately upon the suspicion of committing a moving traffic offence. Other eyes in another place coming upon the original Bill perceived that this was not necessarily so, and hence the Amendment. We on this side of the House agree with it entirely, and I support what the Parliamentary Secretary has said.
§ Question put and agreed to.
§ Subsequent Lords Amendments agreed to.