Automobile law. Refuse a police or gendarmerie check: what do you risk?

“Behind the noise is the real issue of the road law.” explains Maître Jean-Baptiste Le Dall. “First, we can start by reminding you that the phrase, ‘I’m not sorry’, repeated by a couple of motorists in the video, clearly has no legal value as one might think. »

This “I do not contract”, completely incomprehensible from context, even declared with conviction, will not change your rights. But what do you risk by refusing to check?

The law applies on the territory of the state

In the face of so much misinformation, we could remind ourselves of the basics: the law applies on national territory. It is clear that once you are on French territory, this law applies regardless of your own nationality. The only small exception could be for diplomats and ambassadors. But I don’t think I’m taking too much of a risk if I say that wasn’t the case with the couple caught on video.” adds Maître Le Dall.

And on private roads?

The law also applies when this lane is open to the public. Whether the road belongs to the state, a local authority, a company or a private person, as long as it is accessible to motorists, the law will apply. Which of course represents the vast majority of lanes in France. recalls Maître Le Dall.

Can we claim privacy inside the vehicle?

This is a legal question that has already been raised. Remember a few years ago when the paparazzi chased Julia Gayet and photographed her sitting in the back of her vehicle. A debate arose to determine whether or not the vehicle was a place where privacy was protected. We talked about the transparency of the windows etc. But privacy or not, that in no way prevents the police from conducting a vehicle inspection. A search of the vehicle may of course be requested in the presence of customs officers.’ adds Maître Le Dall.

Refusal to file

On the video, we hear the rejection of the submission. This does not exist in the law. We are talking about refusal to file. This is refusing to blow up a balloon or submit to a drug test. The law is clear on this point, we will quote article L234-8 of the Road Traffic Act: “Refusal to submit to the checks provided for in articles L. 234-4 to L. 234-6 or the checks provided for in article L 234-9 is punishable by two years’ imprisonment and with a fine of 4,500 euros. You are also at risk of, among other things, suspension of your driving license for three years, withdrawal of your driver’s license, punishment of community service, confiscation of your vehicle, ban on driving a vehicle for five years…” adds Maître Le Dall.

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