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Cars in France - Breathalyzers Now Required!

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Jul 2nd, 2012, 09:37 AM
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Cars in France - Breathalyzers Now Required!

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

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/worl...#ixzz1zU1cc8CW
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Jul 2nd, 2012, 10:20 AM
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Where did you dig this up? There has been absolutely no heavy criticism. It is absolutely normal to give warnings for several months before enforcing a new law, and frankly a fine of 11€ does not scare the French at all. A parking ticket is already 17€. I would have set the fine at 40 or 50€.
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Jul 2nd, 2012, 10:20 AM
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This has already been posted a couple of times here Pal.
As far as I can see it is a way of getting fines out of people. There is no law which says you have to use the things if you've had a beer or two.
They are sold out here and in most places, since the French only approved a single company to make them and they can't meet the demand, especially from abroad with peak holiday season just starting.
It is a good job the aren't going to enforce the fines before November.

More importantly if you have satnav it is not allowed to show where speed traps are - and if it does you can can a whopping €1200 fine. It's not enough to turn the facility off - you must not have it on the satnav for Franc.
So anyone bringing a satnav with them needs to check their French maps and buy new ones if they include speed traps.
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Jul 2nd, 2012, 10:23 AM
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Actually there are 2 companies with NF approval. I saw a whole bunch of them for sale at my local Dia superette yesterday, I am dubious about there being a shortage. Media hysteria, as usual.
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Jul 2nd, 2012, 10:29 AM
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But the law, spearheaded under former President Nicolas Sarkozy, has been heavily criticized.>

kerouac - I did not dig it up - it was part of the NY News report so I do not know why they said that if there were no criticism, which I take your word for more than some reporter's.

the article also says France is the first country in the world to make such a requirement.
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