A group of American auto writers found themselves on the wrong side of the Spanish police recently while driving the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG through Catalonia. According to Motoramic, officers stopped around 18 writers, though not for disobeying any local traffic laws. Instead, the members of the group were detained for not being able to produce an international driver's license despite the fact that an IDL isn't a legal document, requires no test and simply states in several languages that the holder possess a valid US license. The writers were held on the side of the road before being moved to a parking lot for around two hours.

And what of their high-performance sedans? Police impounded six of the cars, each worth around $100,000. A representative from Mercedes-Benz eventually arrived to help free the writers, though Motoramic says the cars themselves remained in Spanish custody. Mercedes-Benz spokesperson Christian Bokich said, "No fines were paid, no charges were brought and no bribes were given."


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  • 43 Comments
      Lachmund
      • 1 Year Ago
      hahaha...police just wanted to play i guess
      carlos_zilveti
      • 1 Year Ago
      Spain on twenty first century!!! great! A country renowned for receiving millions of visitors and tourists per year, maybe the police of that region was unaware of foreign languages...
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        fsfikke
        • 1 Year Ago
        I don't really think they targeted US Media specifically, think they checked all the Mercs driving there, but since the EU Journalists all have a European licence they didn't get pulled over.
        Lachmund
        • 1 Year Ago
        from the US media?! does that hurt?!
      bofdem
      • 1 Year Ago
      Spain is fast becoming a third world s--thole. Bribes? IDL enforcement? Helps that they already speak Spanish...
        ToyotaSupraMan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @bofdem
        Actually, it's always been kinda of a third world ****-hole (I am a Spaniard myself). Income relying on tourism instead of investing in R&D, bureaucracy up the ass (autonomous workers have it really bad), and always a whiff of corruption and incompetence. And being a Catalonian citizen, the Independence thing wouldn't really solve those problems. /off-topic
        mbukukanyau
        • 1 Year Ago
        @bofdem
        speaking Spanish has nothing to do with it.
          bofdem
          • 1 Year Ago
          @mbukukanyau
          It does when the only thing left for them to do is clean bathrooms and bus tables. 25% unemployment and rising. Failed banks around the corner.
          Lachmund
          • 1 Year Ago
          @mbukukanyau
          ok, and WHAT does that have to do with speaking spanish?
      luigi.tony
      • 1 Year Ago
      perhaps they confiscated the cars for that ugly front bumper.
      Jimmery
      • 1 Year Ago
      Police, go do something useful.
        Greg
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jimmery
        It probably didn't help that they were listening to NWA's "**** Tha Police" while the Spanish police were stopping them.
      KAG
      • 1 Year Ago
      Sounds like a bunch of dirty cops wanted bribes, and were preying on Mercedes Benz to pay out.
      Robert D
      • 1 Year Ago
      Morons! I don't drive cars for a living and even I have an IDL. Guess that trip to AAA and 20.00 was a little too much for 'em. Wouldn't that be considered a "tool of the trade" that should have?
        mbukukanyau
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Robert D
        What about ' IDL isn't a legal document' do you not understand. Who is the bigger moron?
        Lachmund
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Robert D
        reading isn't everything. understanding is the key.
      The Other Bob
      • 1 Year Ago
      Carmakers are finally making LED headlamps look cool. 'bout time.
        Christian L.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @The Other Bob
        I think Audi should be the only one who can have LED's. Just doesn't look right on other cars
          Lachmund
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Christian L.
          from this year on it's mandatory in the EU.
      Ramiro Leonardo Pina
      Why they didnĀ“t have an IDL??!! They tought the US license was international??!!!!
        The Wasp
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ramiro Leonardo Pina
        Well...it is. Not because the US says so (it doesn't) but rather because other countries say so. Several countries officially accept it, and the licenses of other select countries, as a valid driver's license.
          Lachmund
          • 1 Year Ago
          @The Wasp
          yeah. i guess one problem is the american drivers license is kinda laughable, compared to other countries.
        RGT881
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ramiro Leonardo Pina
        More to the point, how did the police know that 18 US writers would not have IDLs? Plus, I'm sure these writers were well aware of international driving requirements and this test-drive wasn't their first in Spain. Something smells fishy. I think Spain is probably trying to prove its relevance in today's world
          Daniel D
          • 1 Year Ago
          @RGT881
          Maybe many car journalists ignore the IDL so they are an easy pick.
      morning_glory1
      • 1 Year Ago
      I knew the Spanish government was in need of cash but this is rediculous
        fawgcutter
        • 1 Year Ago
        @morning_glory1
        Who\'s to say that the police won\'t be sporting a fleet of slightly used Mercs? ; )
      mbukukanyau
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hurrah for Spanish tourism
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