§ Mr. Bill Walker
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what criteria procurators fiscal apply when considering reports from the police for alleged drink-drive offences following breath tests administered to motorists stopped at random.
§ Mr. Rifkind
I am advised by my noble and learned Friend the Lord Advocate that there is no code of practice in this area, but procurators fiscal will take into account the following matters:
- (i) It is lawful for a police officer in uniform acting in the execution of his duty to require the driver of any vehicle on a road to stop.
- (ii) A police officer who stops a vehicle on a road with the purpose of investigating whether its driver has alcohol in his body is acting in the execution of his duty.
- (iii) It is accordingly lawful for a police officer in uniform to stop vehicles at random for that purpose, provided there is no malpractice such as oppression or capricious conduct on the part of the officer.
- (iv) It is lawful for a police officer in uniform to require a driver who has been stopped in such circumstances to provide a specimen of breath for a breath test, provided that the officer has reasonable cause to suspect that the driver has alcohol in his body.
tables. A number of changes in accounting practice over the period result in the annual figures not being strictly comparable.
Procurators fiscal must be satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to merit prosecution in the public interest before instituting proceedings.