Beckett, Regina (on The Application of) v Aylesbury Crown Court: Admn 22 Jan 2004

The applicant had unsuccessfully appealed against his conviction for driving with excess alcohol. He had been stopped randomly to check his documents and the road worthiness of the older car.
Held: The appeal failed. May LJ said: ‘Whether it be under section 163 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, or under a duty at common law, a police officer has the power, provided he or she does not act capriciously or in bad faith, or provided there is no malpractice or oppression or opprobrious behaviour, to stop a motorist on the road. If thereafter there is a reasonable suspicion of drinking, a breath test may be administered.’


May LJ


[2004] EWHC 100 (Admin)




Road Traffic Act 1988 5(1)(a)


England and Wales


CitedBeard v Wood 1980
The court discussed the power of a constable to stop a driver.
Held: Provided the officer was acting in good faith the statutory powers given to him he need have no grounds for stopping a driver. Nothing in the section required the prosecutor . .
CitedChief Constable of Gwent v Dash 1986
In the absence of malpractice, oppression, caprice or opprobrious behaviour, there is no restriction on the stopping of motorists by a police officer in the execution of his duty and subsequent requirement of a breath test if the officer then and . .
CitedSteel v Goacher QBD 1985
Griffiths LJ discussed the lawfulness of a police officer’s stopping of a motorist, and said: ‘It should, however, be stated that the police officer was acting within the execution of his duty by virtue of his power at common law and not by virtue . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Road Traffic, Police

Updated: 25 August 2022; Ref: scu.425318