Traffic violations and fines in Germany
The U.S. Forces license point system
Much like many states in the U.S. and several countries around the globe, drivers with a U.S. Forces driver’s license in Europe should know that U.S. Security Forces maintains a demerit point database that keeps track of driving (and some parking) offenses cited to drivers. When drivers commit offenses either on or off base, citation information is sent to U.S. Forces personnel, and points are assessed against your license based on the severity of the citation. Drivers assessed with 12 points in a one-year period or 18 points in a two-year period will face the loss of driving privileges. For a table of specific offenses, their corresponding assessed point amounts and lengths of suspension, refer to the current USAREUR 190-1 and/or 86 AWI 31-201 regulations. You can also contact your local Security Forces about your current points, how to regain points, specific offenses and more.
A fine again?
Letting unpaid fines accumulate, even parking citations, can lead to points assessment, the loss of your license and time in jail!
Disrespecting an officer
Although it is always poor form to show contempt or disrespect to Polizei, it is actually against the law. The offense is called Beamteninbeleidung and means “insulting a public official or civil servant while in the course of duty.” The law does not define insult, therefore any gesture or word could be considered offensive. Fines have been known to range from 25 euros to thousands of euros and up to a year in jail, depending on the severity of the gesture or insult.
Rude gestures on the road
Want to show another driver “the bird?” Put that hand back on the wheel – if you are reported (and you probably will be), you could face a hefty fine, plus be given the opportunity to commit Beamteninbeleidung, rack up more points and spend time behind bars.