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Driving in France -- breathalyzer law

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Florida
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Driving in France -- breathalyzer law

Is this a true and valid news item?

How would this impact or concern those who rent cars to drive in France? (referring to the req. to carry the breathalyzer, not the legal limit itself...)

- - - New legislation in France – a nation famous for its love of wine – requires all motorists to have at least one breathalyzer in their car with them at all times.

Apparently the intent of the legislation is to encourage motorists to test themselves if they have been drinking to confirm they can safely drive (note that one’s alcohol reading increases for some time after taking one’s last drink). France has a low 50 mg/100ml of blood limit on alcohol levels (compare that to 100 mg/100 ml in most US states) so it is perilously easy to go the wrong side of the limit, even after only a couple of moderately sized glasses of wine.

Experts suggest you should have at least two breathalyzers with you in the car, so if you do feel the need to test yourself, you still have a spare in case of being subsequently stopped - - -

…thetravelinsider.info/2012/03/weekly-roundu…

Guildford, England
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1. Re: Driving in France -- breathalyzer law

tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g226865-i2224-k5…

Plus there is another thread today on this.

Florida
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2. Re: Driving in France -- breathalyzer law

shoot, got busy posting before reading, not a good thing! thanks

Tampa, Florida
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3. Re: Driving in France -- breathalyzer law

It's a non-issue, folks -- you have to have two disposable breathalyser kits in any motor vehicle -- they're available at every shop for around €2 for a package of 2 tests.

The law is not expected to be enforced until June or July, so you have plenty of time to pick up a couple of them.

The fine is expected to be €11

Tampa, Florida
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4. Re: Driving in France -- breathalyzer law

For clarification - the law is requiring a cheap plastic disposable model - no electronics required.

Brussels
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5. Re: Driving in France -- breathalyzer law

< France has a low 50 mg/100ml of blood limit on alcohol levels >

It isn't low. It is the maximum level permitted in the majority of European Union countries. A few allow up to 80 mg/100ml. In Norway and Sweden the limit is 20 mg/100 ml.

…webcarhire.com/travel-tips/…

…europa.eu/transport/…alcohol_rules.pdf

Bedfordshire...
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6. Re: Driving in France -- breathalyzer law

Without wishing to appear 'holier than thou', I would suggest that anybody who comtemplates driving in a foreign country* on unfamiliar routes after drinking any alcohol at all is a fool.

*Or anywhere, to be honest.

Paris, France
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7. Re: Driving in France -- breathalyzer law

Frankly, French laws are already quite strict, so I never drink alcohol when I am driving. It is really not a big deal to abstain temporarily, especially when you can reward yourself with a drink when you arrive at your destination.

England, United...
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8. Re: Driving in France -- breathalyzer law

Thank you Kerouac, I totally agree and since having a holiday some 15 years ago in Turkey where the tolerance is 0%, we never drink even one drop of alcohol when driving - it just makes things easier.

But it is a legal requirement to carry these devices in your car. For those of us who don't live in France it is not a 'non-issue'. It seems that if we arrive by ferry or tunnel we would need to drive to one of those supermarkets or pharmacies and buy them. While doing that we would actually be breaking the law because we wouldn't be carrying them! Catch 22 and all that ...

Also, there seems to be so much uncertainty about when this law will come into effect. The first TA thread on this said just 'Spring'. Now it seems to be June or July.

Presumably rental cars will have them as part of their standard equipment ?

It would be really good of those of you who live in France to update us with specifics if and when you can.

Many thanks.

Edited: 02 March 2012, 18:51
Tampa, Florida
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9. Re: Driving in France -- breathalyzer law

you can also buy them at petrol stations, highway aires, grocery stores, auto-parts stores -- they are *very* easy to find -- right now, they're in huge bins with big red signs pointing out that these are expected to be obligatory sometime this summer.

Boots has a box of 20 -- 20! -- of them for a fiver -- and I'm pretty sure that with the number of British folks coming to France on a regular basis, they won't be the only ones to carry them.

Edited: 02 March 2012, 19:30
Paris, France
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10. Re: Driving in France -- breathalyzer law

You can also find them right next to the bottles of alcohol in the hypermarkets.