Legal update 2011.
Drugnet Ireland, Issue 41, Spring 2012
This update covers drug-related Acts and Bills of the Oireachtas introduced or progressed since the Government came to office on 9 March 2011.
· The Road Traffic Act 2011 (No 28 of 2011) provides for the amendment to existing legislation to permit the early introduction of mandatory alcohol testing of drivers of mechanically propelled vehicles in certain circumstances, including involvement in road traffic collisions. The Act also clarifies the position regarding mandatory preliminary breath testing.
· The Criminal Justice (Community Service) (Amendment) Act 2011 (No 24 of 2011) The primary purpose of this Act is to introduce a requirement on a court before which an offender stands convicted of an offence for which a sentence of up to 12 months’ imprisonment would be appropriate, to consider imposing the alternative sentence of a community service order. Although the Bill does not mention specific offences, many offenders whose offences are committed as a consequence of drug addiction receive short custodial sentences and could benefit from the terms of this legislation.
· The Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 2011 (No 5 of 2011) prohibits harassment or intimidation of members of the public by persons who engage in begging and confers powers on members of the Garda Síochána to give directions to persons to desist from begging, in certain circumstances such as where they are begging near cash machines or in front of places of business. It also provides for a series of sanctions including fines and possible imprisonment for breaches of the law.
· The Communications (Retention of Data) Act 2011 (No 3 of 2011) requires service providers, those engaged in the provision of a publicly available electronic communication service or a public communication network by means of fixed line or mobiles or the internet, to retain data relating to fixed and mobile telephony for one year, and data relating to internet access, internet email and internet telephony for two years, and provides for disclosure in relation to the investigation of specified offences, including customs offences.
Status of Bills before the Dáil
Current status of relevant Bills is shown in the table below.
Title and explanatory memorandum
The Spent Convictions Bill 2011 provides that in the case of convicted persons whose sentence is below a specific threshold, they may, under certain circumstances, withhold details of the conviction. This is intended to apply where a prison sentence not exceeding six months or a fine or penalty have been imposed, and then only after a certain number of years have elapsed without a further conviction. The purpose of the Bill is to help rehabilitate convicted persons through facilitating their reintegration into the workforce and allowing them to build new careers.
Referred to Select Committee 08/06/2011
Repository Staff Only: item control page