Germany plans to introduce license suspensions for wealthy offenders | News | DW | 06.08.2016
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Germany plans to introduce license suspensions for wealthy offenders

People breaking the law in Germany might soon find themselves relying on public transport or going on foot: A new law is planned that would mean offenders - especially wealthy ones - could lose their driver's licenses.

German Justice Minister Heiko Maas has said he intends to introduce a draft bill by the end of the year that envisages suspending the driver's licenses of people who break the law.

"There are cases, such as with very wealthy offenders, in which a fine does not have an effect," he told the German news magazine "Spiegel" in an interview published on Saturday.

"But suspension of a driver's license would have tangible consequences," he said, adding that courts would decide on whether to use the penalty on a case-by-case basis.

The planned penalty is contained in the coalition contract drawn up by Germany's government, which consists of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative bloc and the leftist Social Democrats.

"To create an alternative penalty to prison sentences in the case of people where a fine does not represent a perceptible setback, we will introduce license suspension as an independent penalty in adult and juvenile law," the relevant passage says.

Heiko Maas, German justice minister

Maas says the very rich aren't fazed by fines

Cameras in court

Maas also told "Spiegel" that he intends to allow the use of film cameras in some German courts.

"We want to allow cameras, but only in the highest federal courts and only for the announcement of the sentence," he said.

He said he would also suggest "audio-visually documenting the entire trial in cases of historical significance."

tj/rc (dpa, AFP)

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