§ Mr. Peter Bruinvels
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will continue on a permanent basis the availability of blood and urine tests for persons tested with evidential breath-testing machines; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Giles Shaw
Blood or urine tests are available under the provisions of the Transport Act 1981 for any person tested with an evidential breath-testing machine whose breath-test reading is between the legal limit of 35 microgrammes per hundred millilitres of breath and 50 microgrammes per hundred millilitres of breath. My right hon. and learned friend will consider whether the non-statutory option of a blood/urine test for those whose breath alcohol readings are over 50 microgrammes, introduced last April, should continue when he receives the report on the six-month experimental monitoring of breath tests by the forensic science service.
§ Mr. Snape
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many motorists convicted of drink-driving offences following the introduction of the Lion Intoximeter have subsequently been pardoned; how many such cases are currently under consideration; whether he intends to continue allowing any motorists so charged to take also a blood test; and if he plans to offer any financial compensation to those convicted and subsequently pardoned.
§ Mr. Mellor
Free pardons have been granted in five cases involving the use of the Lion Intoximeter and recommended in eight others. No other cases of this kind are under consideration. It is not the practice of my right hon. and learned Friend to pay compensation when a free pardon is granted in a case where a non-custodial sentence has been imposed. As to the availability of blood or urine tests, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given today to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Leicester, East (Mr. Bruinvels).