§ Mr. Snape
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what account he took, when fixing 16 April as the starting date for his experimental extension of blood and urine tests to all drivers arrested after failing a breath test, of the position of motorists so charged between his original announcement and the beginning of the experiment; and if he will make a statement;
(2) whether he plans further discussions with the Association of Chief Police Officers regarding the prosecution of motorists for drunken driving and the use of the Lion Intoximeter prior to 16 April;
(3) if, in cases where chief constables and the courts can complete the necessary arrangements before 16 April, he will authorise the commencement of the extension of blood and urine tests to all drivers arrested after failing a breath test as soon as the arrangements have been completed; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Hurd
The starting date of 16 April for the extended non-statutory blood/urine option was chosen after detailed consultations with ACPO to ensure that the police have time to prepare to operate the new system in a fair and uniform way and that the magistrates' courts can be fully informed of the procedures which the police will adopt. To attempt partial implementation of the new arrangements at an earlier date would lead to confusion and allegations of unfairness.
The position of motorists charged between my announcement on 26 March and 16 April will not differ from that of motorists charged before 26 March. Prosecution is a matter for the police and we have no plans for discussions with ACPO on this subject, or on the use of the Lion Intoximeter before 16 April.