Driver’s license suspension

Driver's license suspension

Road safety is a priority in Switzerland, and to ensure this, various legislative measures are in place. The suspension of the driver’s license is one of these measures taken in response to various transgressions. This guide provides an overview of the various modalities of driver’s license suspension in accordance with Swiss legislation. 

Immediate suspension (Art. 30 FRTA)

According to art. 30 of the Federal Road Traffic Act (FRTA), an immediate suspension of the license is possible when the driver poses a clear and immediate danger to road safety. This is common in cases of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, where Switzerland has strict limits. Situations such as extreme fatigue or sudden illness can also lead to such suspension.

The immediate suspension is provisional, and an investigation will follow to determine the necessity of a prolonged suspension. The driver can appeal this suspension before the appropriate authority, with procedures guided by the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).

Suspension for serious violation

In accordance with art. 16b of the FRTA, a suspension for serious violations, such as speeding or failing to obey traffic lights, can be imposed. The duration varies depending on the severity of the violation. To assess the severity, factors such as speed, road conditions, and consequences are taken into account.

Once the evaluation is made, the duration of the suspension is decided by the competent body. It is possible to appeal this decision before a court.

Suspension for repeat offenses

According to art. 16c of the FRTA, a driver who commits multiple violations within a defined period risks suspension. The duration depends on the number and severity of the transgressions. Specific guidelines are available for judging repeat offenses.

Repeat offenses are reviewed by the appropriate body, and appeal is possible in case of disagreement with the decision.

Suspension for health reasons

Art. 15 of the FRTA states that in case of medical incapacity, a suspension is possible. This can be based on medical tests, testimonies from health professionals, or other convincing evidence of incapacity. Reasons can vary, from vision problems to mental disorders.

Any suspension for medical reasons must be well-founded, and the driver has the opportunity to challenge this decision by providing additional medical evidence or engaging in legal proceedings.

Administrative suspension

According to art. 31 of the FRTA, failure to comply with legal obligations, such as non-payment of fines or lack of insurance, can lead to administrative suspension.

The suspension is generally implemented by the appropriate administrative authority, but it is possible to appeal before a court.

Objectives and appeal mechanisms

The main purpose of suspension is to deter dangerous behaviors while allowing for reeducation. In Switzerland, specific rehabilitation programs are often required to regain a license.

The right to appeal ensures a balance between public safety and individual rights. Knowing these rights and the processes for exercising them is essential for effective legal representation.

Swiss legislation on road safety is a balance between prevention and the protection of rights. The modes of driver’s license suspension in Switzerland illustrate this balance. Respecting these rules ensures safety and order on Swiss roads. For a deeper understanding, it is recommended to consult the laws, case law, and seek legal expert assistance in this field.

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