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Confiscating a driver’s licence – a landmark judgement

09/05/2018

The Supreme Administrative Court has ruled that a licence cannot be automatically confiscated from a driver who has failed a breathalyser test. It is required that the administrative authority determine the specific circumstances and specify them in the reasoning of its decision. The Supreme Administrative Court thus changed the previous judicial practice.

Our client was represented before the Court by Mr Štěpán Holub.

This follows from the judgement of the Supreme Administrative Court of 18 April 2018, Ref. No. 10 As 174/2017 – 27, published on the website here.

According to the judgement, the administrative authority must examine what reasonable criteria should be met for invoking such a serious consequence as provisional confiscation of a driver’s license (circumstances of the given act; degree of the driver’s intoxication; the driver’s history of infractions, etc.) and should describe in its decision the degree to which the criteria are met. If the authority fails to do so, its decision cannot stand as the court will be unable to review the exercise of administrative discretion. This is also why the Court quashed the previous judgement of the municipal court, which had adopted the conclusion that there was no room for discretion and the authority always had to decide on confiscating the licence if there was justified suspicion of driving under influence.

In this judgement, the Supreme Administrative Court thus changed its previous legal opinion expressed in case 5 As 74/2010.

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