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Spain: six months in prison and a fine of 1080 euros for manipulating the tachograph

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The Spanish Supreme Court issued a critical sentence regarding manipulation of the tachograph. According to the judges, ruling or interference in the operation of the device enacts falsification of official documents, which is punishable by a fine and imprisonment.

On 22 January, the Supreme Court passed this sentenced on a driver who manipulated a tachograph using a magnet, reports the Spanish daily La Vanguardia. The prosecutor’s office appealed to the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court after a verdict acquitting a trucker was issued in the District Court of Girona. 

The Supreme Court found that manipulation of the tachograph to falsify its records to avoid police and administrative controls is a crime of falsification of official documents

The information stored in the internal memory of the tachograph implies official documents with legal and criminal consequences, and printouts from the tachograph are copies of official documents.

Forging of documents is subject to criminal sanctions in Spain under Art. 392 of the Penal Code in connection with art. 390.1.2º of the same code. 

Accordingly, the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court sentenced six months in prison and a fine of EUR 1,080 for the crime of falsifying documents for a truck driver who placed a magnet on the metal part of the tachograph motion sensor. This action caused the device to record rest time, although the driver was actually on the road. 

By decision of 22 January, the Supreme Court confirmed the judgment of the court of first instance (District Court No. 5 in Girona), which sentenced the driver as guilty of fraud of forgery of documents.

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