§ Mr. Thurnham
To ask the Attorney-General what criteria the Crown prosecution service applies when undertaking the independent legal review of charges brought by police for alleged excess alcohol offences arising from breath tests administered to motorists stopped at random.
§ The Attorney-General
The CPS applies the criteria set out in the code for crown prosecutors. Accordingly, crown prosecutors must be satisfied that there is admissible evidence sufficient to allow a realistic prospect of a conviction before authorising continuance of the criminal proceedings. For this purpose the matters which it will take into account include the following:
- (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 with 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 provde 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.