French delay breathalyser fines

12.00 | 17 October 2012 | | 3 comments

French authorities have delayed the introduction of fines for drivers who do not carry a breathalyser, from November 2012 (as originally planned) until March 2013 (IAM).

From that date, all drivers and motorcyclists (excluding moped riders) in France will be required to carry a breathalyser kit or face an €11 fine.

The legal alcohol limit in France is 50mg per 100ml of blood – lower than the 80mg limit in the UK. Breathalysers available at ferry and tunnel terminals for crossings to France cost between £1 and £2.

Anyone driving in France is already required to carry a warning triangle and a fluorescent safety vest to use in an emergency. Additionally, UK motorists and motorcyclists must display a GB plate.

Neil Greig, IAM director of policy and research, said: “The new French rule is a genuine attempt to reduce the number of alcohol-related accidents. France’s lower limit means it’s very easy to be over the limit the morning after as well. As always, the best advice for road users is not to drink and drive at all.”


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    Gareth, the French have legislated for that excuse which is why you must have two, one to use and one as a spare and they are sold in pairs.

    Mark Caerphilly
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    Stupid law really. If you’re willing to drive drunk, then you’re also willing to break this breathalyzer law.

    Also with the cheapest breathalyzers being disposable, people will begrudge using their breathalyzer up!

    The only real use I can see for these are when people are caught over the limit, the excuse of “I didn’t realise I was over the limit officer” isn’t going to wash!

    Adam, Hants
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    Surely your answer when stopped and devoid of a breathalyser is “pardon officer but I used my breathalyser to determine my suitability to drive”. The answer is no alcohol and no exceptions with enforcement hammering home the point. In my opinion, for what it’s worth, this is not a serious attempt to stop drink driving but an attempt to increase revenue levels.

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