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Supreme Court of Denmark

French driving licence giving right to drive a car in Denmark 

Case no. 124/2015

Judgment delivered on 22 December 2015

The Public Prosecutor

French driving licence issued during disqualification period, and without a driving test or an alcohol, drug and traffic course, to be recognised as basis for right to drive a car in Denmark

Effective from June 2004, T was unconditionally disqualified from driving for five years for drunk driving. In October 2004, a French driving licence was issued to T. In October 2011, after the disqualification period had expired, T was stopped by police for speeding. The issue in this case was whether T had thereby violated section 56(1) of the Danish Road Traffic Act concerning driving without a driving licence. The main issue was whether T's French driving licence could be used as basis for the right to drive a car in Denmark, although T had not passed a driving test and an alcohol, drug and traffic course ("A/T course"), and although the French driving licence had been issued during the disqualification period.

The Supreme Court held that the principle of EU law on mutual recognition of driving licences meant that T could not be required to take a driving test and an A/T course. The Supreme Court also ruled that although Denmark was obliged to refuse to recognise the validity of T's driving licence under Article 11(4) of the Third Directive on Driving Licences, because it was issued during the disqualification period, this obligation was not included in the Road Traffic Act or the Executive Order on Driving Licences. As Article 11(4) had not been implemented, there was no basis for inflicting a punishment on T, who was thus acquitted. 

The High Court had reached a different conclusion.

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