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Breathalyser mandatory when driving in France

From July 1st, 2012, a new law has made it mandatory to carry a breathalyser when driving in France.

This item used to test for alcohol should be produced by any driver in France when asked by the French gendamerie.

What to carry in the car in France
Tourists in France travelling by hire car or crossing the channel in their own vehicles should carry the reflective jacket, a warning triangle, a set of spare bulbs as well as the breatalyser when entering French soil.

The French police is entitled to check for the self-testing breathalyser in any car. Violation of this highway rule will usually have to be dealt with immediately with the French police.

Fortunately, the alcometer or breathalyser is available for a few euro's at most petrol stations in France. 

In hire cars, the breath analyser will be standard equipment by the time the law comes into force, but do make sure that your vehicle rented in France in fact do carry this small item as it may be expensive not to. 

See more about driving in France.

Buy a breathalyser when driving to France
The standard breathalysers are inexpensive with prices starting at €1.50 up to €2 each in France. These simple devices are for single use only. If you dont have a spare self-testing breathalyser, but only a used one, you are actually likely to get fined if stopped by French police.

For the more expensive multiuse breathalyser, expect to pay some €50-200.

Drivers with a standard license will be required to carry a 0.05% BAC Detection Breathalyzer. You will be expected to produce the kit if stopped and asked to by the French police

Fine for not carrying breathalyser in France
Fines for not having a breathalyser in the car when driving in France will according to most sources not be introduced before November 1st, 2012.

Se more about speeding fines in France.

From November, it will cost the unfortunate, but otherwise road legal driver in France a fine of €17 not to have the breathalyser at hand. 

The legal limit for alcohol is significantly lower in France than in Britain. The French drink driving limit is 0.05% BAC; substantially lower than the UK’s 0.08% BAC (blood alcohol content points).

Professional drivers with licenses to drive busses or a lorries will be expected to carry a 0.02% BAC detection breathalyzer kit reflecting the lower alcohol limit in France for professional drivers.

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Breathalyser mandatory when driving in France
Article: Breathalyser mandatory when driving in France
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Published: Tuesday, March 27 2012
Latest revision: Tuesday, March 27 2012

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