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HV (Suspension du droit de conduire)

On 6 October 2022, the Third Chamber of the Court delivered a preliminary ruling regarding the refusal by one Member State to enforce a decision suspending the right to drive adopted by another Member State. In this case, the Sofia City Court in Bulgaria found HV guilty of driving a motor vehicle on Bulgarian territory that caused harm to another person. The sentence took form of a 6 months suspension of HV’s right to drive a motor vehicle. However, the prosecutor at the referring court informed that the suspension was not enforceable on Bulgarian territory because HV is permanently resident in Spain and his driving licence issued by the Bulgarian authorities was exchanged against an equivalent licence issued by the Spanish authorities. Two preliminary questions were thus referred to the Court: whether the suspension of one’s driving licence falls within the scope of Framework Decision 2008/947/JHA; and whether Directive 2006/126/EC constitutes grounds for refusal of enforcing the sanction by the Member State that issued the driving licence (Spain). The Court ruled that the combined provisions of Article 11(2) and the second subparagraph of Article 11(4) of Directive 2006/126/EC on driving licences, must be interpreted as authorising the Member State of normal residence of the holder of a driving licence issued by that Member State not to recognise and enforce in its territory a decision suspending that holder’s right to drive a motor vehicle adopted by another Member State on account of a road traffic offence committed in that Member State’s territory, including where that driving licence was issued in exchange for a driving licence previously issued by the Member State in which the road traffic offence was committed.

Case Number C-266/21

Name of the parties HV

Date of the judgement 2022-10-06

Court Court of Justice of the European Union (Third Chamber)