France has introduced a new law allowing offenders caught committing certain offences, from driving without insurance to drug use, to pay on-the-spot fines at a reduced rate. Here’s how it will work.
A new law entered into force on 8th November 2023 that allows police officers who issue fines for a select number of “minor” offences to collect on-the-spot payments from offenders.
Those caught committing a crime will be able to benefit from the same reduced rate that would have been available within the typical 15-day window set by violation notices sent in the post. Officers will accept cash, cheque and card payments.
Offenders are not obliged to make the immediate payment and can choose to have the fine sent to their postal address instead without any repercussions.
Four types of minor offences have been listed on the Public Service website page covering the new law: driving without a licence or with a licence that doesn’t correspond with the category of vehicle; driving without insurance; drug use; and illegal occupation of the entry or hallway of a building.
The flat rate fine for driving without a licence is €800. If paid immediately or within 15 days, this is reduced to €640. Those who choose to delay payment more than 45 days risk getting slapped with a €1,600 bill.
Uninsured motorists are looking at €500 to pay, reduced to €400 with the new system and hiked to €1,000 in the case of non-payment after 45 days.
In the case of drugs use, the fine is typically €200, with a €50 reduction for paying directly to police or within 15 days. The fine can rise to €450 if not taken care of within 45 days.
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