Road Traffic Act 1962

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1962 c. 59


Road Traffic Act, 1962

(10 & 11 Eliz. 2) CHAPTER 59

An Act to make further provision as to road safety and road traffic and for purposes connected therewith.

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Unfitness to drive

Unfitness to drive

S-1 Standard of unfitness to drive through drink, etc.

1 Standard of unfitness to drive through drink, etc.

1. For the purposes of section six of the principal Act (which imposes penalties for driving, attempting to drive or being in charge of a motor vehicle while unfit to drive through drink or drugs) a person shall be taken to be unfit to drive if his ability to drive properly is for the time being impaired.

S-2 Evidence on charge of unfitness to drive.

2 Evidence on charge of unfitness to drive.

(1) In any proceedings for an offence under the said section six, the court shall, subject to subsection (4) of this section, have regard to any evidence which may be given of the proportion or quantity of alcohol or of any drug which was contained in the blood or present in the body of the accused, as ascertained by analysis or measurement of a specimen of blood taken from him with his consent by a medical practitioner, or of urine or breath provided by him, at any material time; and if it is proved that the accused, when so requested by a constable at any such time, refused to consent to the taking of or to provide a specimen for analysis or measurement, his refusal may, unless reasonable cause therefor is shown, be treated as supporting any evidence given on behalf of the prosecution, or as rebutting any evidence given on behalf of the defence, with respect to his condition at that time.

(2) For the purposes of any such proceedings, a certificate purporting to be signed by an authorised analyst, and certifying the proportion of alcohol or any drug found in a specimen identified by the certificate and, in the case of a specimen not being a specimen of blood, the proportion of alcohol or of that drug in the blood which corresponds to the proportion found in the specimen, shall be evidence of the matters so certified and of the qualification of the analyst:

Provided that the foregoing provision shall not apply to a certificate tendered on behalf of the prosecution unless a copy has been served on the accused not less than seven days before the hearing or trial, nor if the accused, not less than three days before the hearing or trial, or within such further time as the court may in special circumstances allow, has served notice on the prosecutor requiring the attendance at the hearing or trial of the person by whom the certificate was signed.

(3) In any such proceedings in Scotland, a certificate complying with subsection (2) of this section and, where the person by whom such a certificate was signed is called as a witness, the evidence of that person, shall be sufficient evidence of the facts stated in the certificate.

(4) Where the accused, at the time a specimen of blood or urine was taken from or provided by him, asked to be supplied with such a specimen, evidence of the proportion of alcohol or any drug found in the specimen shall not be admissible on behalf of the prosecution unless—

(a ) the specimen is either one of two taken or provided on the same occasion or is part of a single specimen which was divided into two parts at the time it was taken or provided; and

(b ) the other specimen or part was supplied to the accused.

(5) A constable requesting any person to consent to the taking of or to provide a specimen of blood or urine for analysis shall offer to supply to him, in a suitable container, part of the specimen or, in the case of a specimen of blood which it is not practicable to divide, another specimen which he may consent to have taken.

(6) Where, after the coming into operation of this subsection, a constable requests any person to provide a specimen of breath—

(a ) subsection (4) of this section shall apply in relation to the specimen as it applies in relation to a specimen of urine; and

(b ) the constable shall offer to supply to that person, in a suitable container, another specimen of breath which he may consent to provide.

(7) In this section ‘authorised analyst’ means any person possessing the qualifications prescribed by regulations made under section eighty-nine of the Food and Drugs Act, 1955, or section twenty-seven of the Food and Drugs (Scotland) Act, 1956, as qualifying persons for appointment as public analysts under those Acts, and any other person authorised by the Secretary of State to make analyses for the purposes of this section.

S-3 Application of s. 2 to corresponding naval, military or air-force offences.

3 Application of s. 2 to corresponding naval, military or air-force offences.

(1) Section two of this Act shall apply in relation to proceedings for a corresponding service offence as it applies in relation to proceedings for an offence under section six of the principal Act, but shall, as so applying, have effect—

(a ) as if references to the court included references to any authority before whom the proceedings take place;

(b ) as if references to a constable included references to any provost officer or any officer or person legally exercising authority under or on behalf of a provost officer;

(c ) as if the reference to the Secretary of State included a reference to the Admiralty; and

(d ) as if subsection (3) were omitted.

(2) In this section—

‘corresponding service offence’ means an offence against section seventy of the Army Act, 1955, or section seventy of the Air Force Act, 1955, or under section forty-two of the Naval Discipline Act, 1957, committed by an act which is punishable under section six of the principal Act or would be so punishable if committed in England;

‘provost officer’ means any person who is a provost officer within the meaning of either of the said Acts of 1955 or of the said Act of 1957.

S-4 Notification of disease or disability.

4 Notification of disease or disability.

(1) If, in any proceedings for an offence committed in respect of a motor vehicle, it appears to the court that the accused may be suffering from any disease or physical disability which would be likely to cause the driving by him of a motor vehicle to be a source of danger to the public, the court shall notify the licensing authority in whose area the accused resides and, if he holds a licence, also the authority, if known to the court, by whom it was granted.

(2) In this section ‘licence’ means a licence to drive a motor vehicle granted under Part II of the principal Act.

Disqualification, endorsement and penalties

Disqualification, endorsement and penalties

S-5 Disqualification on conviction of certain offences.

5 Disqualification on conviction of certain offences.

(1) Where a person is convicted of an offence specified in Part I of the First Schedule to this Act the court shall order him to be disqualified for such period not less than twelve months as the court thinks fit unless the court for special reasons thinks fit to order him to be disqualified for a shorter period or not to order him to be disqualified.

(2) Where a person is convicted of an offence specified in Part II of the First Schedule to this Act the court may order him to be disqualified for such period as the court thinks fit.

(3) Where a person convicted of an offence specified in the said Part I or the said Part II has within the three years immediately preceding the commission of the offence and since the commencement of this Act been convicted on not less than two occasions of an offence specified in those Parts and particulars of the convictions have been ordered to be endorsed in accordance with section seven of this Act, the court shall order him to be disqualified for such period not less than six months as the courts thinks fit, unless the court is satisfied, having regard to all the circumstances, that there are grounds for mitigating the normal consequences of the conviction and thinks fit to order him to be disqualified for a shorter period or not to order him to be disqualified.

(4) Where a person convicted of an offence under subsection (1) of section six of the principal Act (driving or attempting to drive while under the influence of drink or drugs) has within the ten years immediately preceding the commission of the offence been convicted of such an offence, subsection (1) of this section shall apply in relation to him with the substitution of three years for twelve months.

(5) The period of any disqualification imposed under subsection (3) of this section or on a conviction of an offence under paragraph (b ) of section one hundred and ten of the principal Act (driving while disqualified) shall be in addition to any other period of disqualification imposed (whether previously or on the same occasion) under this section or under the principal Act or an enactment repealed by that Act or under the Motor Car Act, 1903.

(6) The foregoing provisions of this section shall apply in relation to a conviction of an offence committed by aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring, or inciting to the commission of an offence specified in Part I of the First Schedule to this Act as if the offence were specified in Part II of that Schedule.

(7) Where a person is convicted of an offence...

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