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Supreme Court of Denmark

Determination of penalties for carriers – Recording Equipment Regulation 

Case no. 149/2015

Judgment delivered on 26 February 2016

The Public Prosecutor

The penalty imposed on a carrier was not disproportionate, just as there was no basis for waiving criminal liability or reducing the penalty imposed

The High Court had imposed a penalty of DKK 30,000 on a Belgian carrier, T, for violation of section 13, cf. section 14, cf. section 12(1)(3)(c) of the Executive Order on Rest Periods, cf. article 15(5a) of the European Recording Equipment Regulation. T had been found liable for the failure of a Hungarian driver employed by T to enter country codes for the countries in which his daily working periods had started and finished for five days on an unknown route in Europe. The penalty had been fixed by way of total joinder of five normal penalties of DKK 6,000 each.

The case before the Supreme Court concerned whether there was a basis for absolute discharge or mitigation.

The central issue in the case was whether the penalty should be reduced, among other things, on the grounds that it was disproportionate. The Supreme Court did not find that any facts had been produced justifying derogation from the general rule on total joinder in the Road Traffic Act. As the case concerned vicarious liability for five offences committed during an employment relationship, the Supreme Court also agreed that the penalty was not contrary to the EU principle of proportionality.

The Court noted that the case as a whole was subject to Danish criminal jurisdiction, regardless of the fact that some of the offences had been committed abroad. The Supreme Court found no basis for waiving criminal liability, as the offences were punishable under article 15(5a) of the Recording Equipment Regulation and under the corresponding provision in article 34(7) of the Tachograph Regulation.

The Supreme Court thus upheld the penalty of DKK 30,000.

The High Court had reached the same conclusion.

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