The postponement of the rules on fixed penalties

Here is the story on the shift of the fixed penalty provisions from the Narcotics Act (NarcA) to the Fixed Penalties Act (OBG) and the Fixed Penalties Ordinance (OBV), respectively.

Fixed penalties are reality

The fixed penalties (OB) introduced since October 2013 have become established and account for about one third of consumption tracking. Parliament had anchored them in the Narcotics Law (NarcA), in articles 28b to 28l.

New Fixed Penalties Act

Soon, these provisions will be repealed and transferred to the totally revised Fixed Penalties Act (OBG) and the associated Fixed Penalties Ordinance (OBV). In March 2016, parliament passed the OBG. It combines OB provisions from 17 different laws (primarily the Road Traffic Act). The Narcotics Act is listed under item 10. The OBG states that the cantons must continue to determine the authorities that may issue OB. In general, the minimum age for an OB is 15 years, for NarcA it is set at 18 years. Anyone younger than this who comes to the attention of the police will always be reported to the police. The OBG also specifies how OBs are issued and what the forms should look like, as well as the fact that accused persons can choose the ordinary procedure. In principle, only contraventions may be punished with fixed penalties. However, the specific illegal acts that can be punished with an OB are no longer listed in the law, but in the federal OBV.

Consultation OB Ordinance

In April 2017, the draft OBV of the Federal Council was sent for consultation. In Chapter X, Narcotics Act, the first and so far only item for this law, the new version of the fixed penalties for hemp is now defined: “Unauthorized, intentional consumption of narcotics of the effect type cannabis (Art. 19a No. 1 NarcA)”. The fine amount for this is 100 francs. The consultation process will continue until mid-August 2017. If no further major changes are made, the Federal Council intends to bring the totally revised OBG into force together with the new OBV on 1 January 2018.

Will this delay lead to a uniform handling throughout Switzerland? It remains doubtful. The cantonal application varies enormously, and there are also differences depending on the official and the situation.

Supplement end 2017

The fixed penalties are to be moved from NarcA to the totally revised Ordnungsbussengesetz (OBG) and the associated Ordnungsbussenverordnung (OBV). The consultation for the OBV is over, but the cantons were against an entry into force on 1.1.2018 - as it had been announced by the Federal Council. The date was too early, some pleaded for 1.1.2019, or even for the whole thing to be introduced only one year after the definitive list of fixed penalties. They would need this time for all the changes. So this can still take some time.

Addendum beginning 2019

The new OBG and OBV will come into force on 1.1.2020.

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Last modified: 2024/03/27 08:56

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