Breathalyzer tests compulsory on all vehicles in France
PARIS—All vehicles travelling on French roads must carry a chemical or electronic breathalyzer test from Sunday, under new rules aimed at reducing alcohol-driven accidents.
“Alcohol has been the main cause of mortality on roads since 2006,” according to road security authorities.
About a third of fatalities on French roads is due to drink driving, a rate that far surpasses the 17 percent recorded in Britain or 10 percent in Germany.
According to a survey published Sunday, just over half of respondents — 57 percent — said they have yet to equip their vehicles with breathalyzer tests.
Those who fail to do so risk a fine of 11 euros ($14) from November 1, 2012, when the penalty comes into force.
Drivers are split over the measure.
“I find it absurd to be booked for that. But it’s the law, so I’ll be subject to it,” said Hamou Louachiche, 38, who still does not have a test in his car.
He believes that such tests would be more useful in bars or nightclubs.
Others however welcome the measure, saying it would reduce drink driving.
France enacts breathalyzer law
All drivers must carry devices, including tourists
A new law has gone into effect in France requiring every driver to carry two breathalyzer devices in their vehicle at all times. The government is hoping to reduce the number of deaths related to drunk driving by encouraging drivers to test themselves if they think they’ve had too much to drink.
The new law, which applies to tourists as well as residents of France, started on July 1, though there will reportedly be a four month grace period in order to further educate drivers. As of November 1, police will fine drivers 11 euros if a vehicle isn’t equipped with the devices.
In France, the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) while driving is 50 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood, or 0.05. In Canada, the limit is 0.08, though that number can change depending on the province and the age of the driver. In Ontario for instance, all drivers 21 years of age and under must have zero blood alcohol content at all times when operating a vehicle.
The Daily Mail says two types of breathalyzer kits have been approved for use in vehicles. One is a “blow-in-the-bag” kit that costs about three euros, while a digital version costs upward of 100 euros.
The UK’s Automobile Association (AA) is criticizing the new law. The organization’s head of road safety, Andrew Howard, tells the Daily Mail that early readings from breathalyzers could be misleading.
“Driving requirements in France are now quite complicated and the list of things you need to take is beginning to be quite a substantial extra charge to a holiday.” says Howard.
Keith Peat of the Association of British Drivers is another critic of the law. He says that “some people will take the chance and not buy them, but many will simply not know about this latest requirement or just forget.
Edited by key2thecup, 02 July 2012 - 05:04 PM.