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Cars in France - Breathalyzers Now Required!

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Starting July 1, 2012 all cars driven in France are by law required to have two breathalyzers in them or drivers face summary fines (albeit only of about $14) - but facing heavy criticism the law's enforcement date has been pushed back to November, 2012. But after then if renting a car or driving in France be sure there are at least two breathalyzers in them - and according to an NPR report one-shot use devices can be bought for about $1 - reuseable devices cost much more.

Personally I think this law is rather lame in its intention of slicing the some 4,000 alcohol-related deaths on French roads under the theory that self-testing will prevent someone from driving over the limit.

IMO booze-related road deaths are mainly the cause of folks way way over the limit and not those just over it - but I guess the law does not hurt as required evices are so so cheap.

France has done a lot to reduce the once staggering number of drinks-driving related deaths - especially with frequent road checks where every driver is stopped and scrutinized for alcohol levels and if found too high (levels I believe have also been drastically lowered) the license is summarily taken away (not sure but think I read that).

The drinks driving crackdown has apparently resulted in altering the lunch habits of French business types who once routinely drank lots of wine or booze at lunch and motored back to the office.

Things have dramatically changed since about 15 years ago when I daily saw a postman on his bicycle stop off at a local cafe and drink a few carafes of cheap wine before heading back to bike the rest of route.

This is a report from the NY Daily News

<Before hitting the road, drivers in France are being ordered to equip their cars with a potentially life-saving device: a breathalyzer kit.
The law, which went into effect Sunday, requires drivers to carry two breathalyzers in the hope that those who imbibe will test themselves before getting behind the wheel, ultimately helping to curb the growing rate of drunk driving.
About 4,000 people are killed in motor vehicle accidents in France, with alcohol a leading factor in deaths, the BBC reported.
France is reportedly the first nation to require drivers to have breathalyzers. There is currently a four-month grace period to purchase the kits, after which those pulled over without them can be fined the equivalent of $14.
But the law, spearheaded under former President Nicolas Sarkozy, has been heavily criticized.>
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/france-orders-driver-carry-breathalyzer-kits-cars-article-1.1106213#ixzz1zU1cc8CW

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