§ Mr. Robert McCartney
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many custodial sentences were imposed in the last three years for a first offence on 17-years-olds convicted of driving-related offences not involving excess alcohol or car stealing; and if he will make a statement on the use of custodial sentences for those convicted of dangerous driving without fatal consequences. 
§ Sir John Wheeler
The number of persons aged 17 years given custodial sentences for driving offences not involving excess alcohol or theft of a car, and the number of cases in which it was the first offence of any sort, for the years 1994 to 1996 were:
Custodial sentences First offence 1994 37 7 1995 19 6 1996 16 2 Totals 72 15
The use of custodial sentences for persons convicted of dangerous driving without fatal consequences is an issue for the courts to decide after consideration of all aspects of individual cases.