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RE 1224374
CourtSupreme Federal Court
Full case nameRecurso Extraordinário 1.224.374 (Transit State Department [pt]-RS v. Joel Porn de Freitas)
Started14 August 2019 (2019-08-14)
Decided19 May 2022 (2022-05-19)
Court membership
Judges sittingPresident

Luiz Fux

Justices

Case opinions
Decision byFux
ConcurrenceBarroso, Fachin, Lewandowski, Lúcia, Marques, Mendes, Mendonça, de Moraes, Toffoli, Weber
Keywords

RE 1.224.374 was a case of the Supreme Court of Brazil concerning the constitutionality of penalizing refusal to submit oneself to drug influence tests on traffic stops, such as a breathalyzer. The case's rapporteur, minister Luiz Fux, cast the initial vote and the Court unanimously agreed, upholding the constitutionality of such penalties.

The case was judged alongside ADI 4017 and ADI 4103, both regarding the constitutionality of prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages alongside highways and its inspection by the Highway Police.

Background

The case was brought to the Supreme Court after the Transit State Department [pt] of Rio Grande do Sul challenged a decision by the state's Court of Justice (TJ-RS) to reverse penalties imposed upon a driver that refused a breathalyzer test.[1]

Specifically, the case put into question the constitutionality of Article 165-A of the Brazilian Transit Code:[2]

Art. 165-A. Recusar-se a ser submetido a teste, exame clínico, perícia ou outro procedimento que permita certificar influência de álcool ou outra substância psicoativa, na forma estabelecida pelo art. 277:

Infração - gravíssima;

Penalidade - multa (dez vezes) e suspensão do direito de dirigir por 12 (doze) meses;

Medida administrativa - recolhimento do documento de habilitação e retenção do veículo, observado o disposto no § 4º do art. 270.

Parágrafo único. Aplica-se em dobro a multa prevista no caput em caso de reincidência no período de até 12 (doze) meses.

Art. 165-A. Refusing to submit to a test, clinical exam, investigation or other procedure that certifies influence of alcohol or other psychoactive substance, as established by art. 277:

Infraction - very grave;

Penalty - fine (ten times) and suspension of the right to drive for 12 (twelve) months;

Administrative measure - withdrawal of driver's license and seizure of vehicle, following § 4 of art. 270.

Single paragraph. The fine prescribed on the caput is doubled in case of reincidence in the period of up to 12 (twelve) months.

Law 9.503/1997 (Brazilian Transit Code [pt])

The argument against the constitutionality of the article was that penalizing the refusal to test for inebriation would restrict the accused's defense, and could lead to self-incrimination.[2]

High Court decision

The Court unanimously ruled that, since the refusal does not constitute a crime and is instead only penalized by administrative sanctions, there is no violation of the principle of no self-incrimination.[1] Additionally, it was decided that sanctioning test refusal is an effective means of enforcing the law.[1]

Judiciary representation

Supreme Court members Ministers Yes No
Luiz Fux 1 1
Luís Roberto Barroso 1 1
Edson Fachin 1 1
Ricardo Lewandowski 1 1
Cármen Lúcia 1 1
Nunes Marques 1 1
Gilmar Mendes 1 1
André Mendonça 1 1
Alexandre de Moraes 1 1
Dias Toffoli 1 1
Rosa Weber 1 1
Total 11 11 00

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c "Bafômetro: multa a motorista que recusa teste é válida, decide STF". Rio de Janeiro Court of Justice (in Brazilian Portuguese). 20 May 2022. Retrieved 25 April 2024.
  2. ^ a b Maia, Flávia; Carneiro, Luiz Orlando (19 May 2022). "Lei Seca: STF mantém tolerância zero de bebida alcoólica e para quem recusa bafômetro". JOTA.info [pt] (in Brazilian Portuguese). Retrieved 25 April 2024.