HL Deb 12 November 1975 vol 365 cc1966-7WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Between what dates a prison sentence was mandatory in cases of (a) driving without insurance and (b) driving whilst disqualified.

The MINISTER of STATE, HOME OFFICE (Lord Harris of Greenwich)

These offences have at no time carried a mandatory penalty of imprisonment. My noble friend may have in mind Section 7(4) of the Road Traffic Act 1930 under which a person driving whilst disqualified was liable to a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months unless the court thought that having regard to the special circumstances of the case a fine would be an adequate punishment for the offence. This provision was repealed by the Road Traffic Act 1962. Magistrates' courts had discretion to impose a sentence of imprisonment for the offence of driving without insurance between 1930 and 1974; and they still have that discretion in relation to the offence of driving whilst disqualified.

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