French breathalyser law

Here is a direct link to the French government article that talks about the introduction of the new breathalyser legislation.

In March of 2012, the French government announced officially that all motorists had to carry a single use or digital breathalyzer kit from July 1st 2012. There are no concessions except moped riders. This is not just French nationals but motorists holidaying or passing through France.
The new law is France’s latest attempt to reduce their fatal road accident rate, often caused by drivers over the legal limit. Around one in three road deaths are caused by drunk drivers and nearly 4000 people were killed last year on French roads.

Translating the decree which was published in the official gazette “Journal Officiel de la République Française”, it reads:

“Every driver of a motorised land vehicle, excluding mopeds, must possess an unused and immediately available breathlyzer…”

Because July and August are some of the busiest months for French holidaymakers, internal and external, expect there to be some confrontational incidents where motorists are challenged to produce the kits by the local Gendarmerie. It’s estmated that there shall be an immediate fine levied of 11 Euros for anyone not found to be carrying a breathalyser kit.

Former President Nicolas Sarkozy promised to cut drink driving in France and his replacement looks set to continue the trend. Their target is to cut the death toll by 25% from 2011, a courageous move indeed. Disposable breathalysers have been available in many French bars, cafes and clubs which shows how serious but how well adopted this move is.

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