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MSE News: Driving to France? Pack a breathalyser or risk fine

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MupetteMupette Forumite
4.6K posts
"Holidaymakers travelling to France by car have been warned of a new law which means they must carry a breathalyser..."






Original discussion from the 'France Sat Navs and breathalisers' thread...

Not sure if this has been done or not, but as parents live in france and reminded me..

Summer is almost here and just a heads up on French requirements if you are driving

TOUGHER road safety rules are coming in from this week. (Jan 03 12)

A raft of measures relating to driving – which were debated last year as part of the Loppsi 2 law on security – are to be presented tomorrow, many of them expected to apply immediately. They will be published in Le Journal Officiel this week, the final rubber stamp for a new law.

They are to be announced by Interior Minister Claude Gu!ant at the same time as he presents the latest road accident figures.

The measures include:

- Using speed camera warning devices banned. In theory using a device that warns of cameras will be punishable with a €1,500 fine and the loss of six points. Many have warned of likely practical difficulties, due to widespread ownership of devices including such data, such as satellite navigation equipment. According to Le Figaro it is being recommended to update systems so they no longer carry the data, but if yours does have it still you should “not activate this option”. It is not clear how this would be enforced.

- Higher fines for driving while talking on a mobile phone – from a €35 fine and loss of two points, to a €135 fine and three points.

- A €1,500 fine for watching a film while driving, instead of €135; loss of three points instead of two.

- A €135 fine for crossing into the hard shoulder; the €35 fine for driving on it goes up to the same amount.

- All school buses to be fitted with equipment that tests the driver’s breath before allowing the vehicle to start.

- Municipal police to have new powers to carry out drug use tests

http://www.connexionfrance.com/Tougher-road-safety-rules-Claude-Gueant-13340-view-article.html

More info on the breathalyser introduction


http://www.europe1.fr/France/Les-ethylo ... es-841911/

From spring, motorists will have to have a breathalyzer in their vehicle.
Nicolas Sarkozy, embodying a proposal by several members of Parliament, announced Wednesday that the éthylotest would become mandatory in cars in a few months.

Some will be reassured, at this measure of prevention: drinking and driving was the primary cause of death on the road, 31% in 2010, or about 1,300 dead.


Documentation to make compulsory these éthylotests must be submitted to Parliament but for the moment, the date is not yet fixed.


How to choose the breathalyzer?


Specifically, when purchasing your éthylotest, you have the choice. The basic option is a balloon with crystals which turn green when you blow. It will cost between 1 and 2 euros. You can also opt for the electronic version. For this little machine, you will need to pay around100 euros. But you can reuse it, measure precisely your blood alcohol level and where appropriate, evaluate how long it will take to move down under the legal rate.


There will be mandatory sanctions if you are found not to be carrying an éthylotest similar to those for failing to carry a fluorescent jacket and/or warning triangle.

And if you opt for the balloon, you probably take two to make sure you still have one in your vehicle if you use one.

Motorcycles

There is no exception for two wheel transport. Motorcycles and scooters will also come under the law.

The Ministry of the Interior say that it is a measure of prevention, it is not expected for the time being that is be used to stiffen the penalties for positive control by the police or gendarmes, or accident. More legislation is being prepared for a withdrawal of 8 points for drivers who take the wheel with more than 0.8 grams per litre of blood.
Pierre: Mais, Antoine, you 'ave only 'ad two bottles of ze wine. Eet ees not a problem zat you can drive ze car, n'est-ce-pas?

Antoine: Eh bien, Pierre, normally ah would drive ze car, but now I 'ave ze breazaliser kit in ze car. Zis 'as changed ma attitude and now ah nevaire drink and drive.

Pierre: Ah oui, mon ami. Zey are very clevaire zese people who zink of zese zings. Now, en France, nobody will do ze drinking and ze driving.
GNU
Terry Pratchett
((((Ripples))))
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Replies

  • peachypricepeachyprice Forumite
    22.3K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    Mupette wrote: »

    - A €1,500 fine for watching a film while driving, instead of €135; loss of three points instead of two.



    What???? They have to actually legislate against watching a film whilst driving? Is it not obvious it's a really bad idea? And it was only a €135 fine?

    It would be interesting to have official confirmation whether the breathalysers are compulsory for non-French residents, do you know if there's been any confirmation yet Mupette? And will hire cars come with them or would you be expected to provide your own?
    Accept your past without regret, handle your present with confidence and face your future without fear
  • MupetteMupette Forumite
    4.6K posts
    as far as i am aware we have to take them too.
    we have the usual stuff including the viz jackets, will ask dad tomorrow when i ring them

    The i can report back here with any updates, but i think it is a case of any road user,

    don't forget your first aid kit too, you get a receipt for it if there was an accident and you give yours in to help, you just go to the nearest pharmacy and get given a replacement free
    GNU
    Terry Pratchett
    ((((Ripples))))
  • MupetteMupette Forumite
    4.6K posts
    Just spoke to dad.

    Yup everyone needs to have breathalysers, including 'international' visitors to France
    GNU
    Terry Pratchett
    ((((Ripples))))
  • TarryTarry Forumite
    11.2K posts
    What???? They have to actually legislate against watching a film whilst driving? Is it not obvious it's a really bad idea? And it was only a €135 fine?

    It would be interesting to have official confirmation whether the breathalysers are compulsory for non-French residents, do you know if there's been any confirmation yet Mupette? And will hire cars come with them or would you be expected to provide your own?

    That's common sense that one :rotfl: There must have been many people doing it for them to do a law for it :eek:

    In all seriousness, is the breathlyster law in now or is it 1st July??
    The Very Right Honourable Lady Tarry of the Alphabetty thread
    -I just love finding bargains and saving money
    I love to travel as much as I can when I can
    Life has a way to test you, it's how you deal with this that matters
  • MupetteMupette Forumite
    4.6K posts
    Already law, as i said i rang my dad yesterday and asked was in it force and who did it apply to, he told me it is already in force and it does indeed apply to everyone, not just the French drivers.

    hth
    GNU
    Terry Pratchett
    ((((Ripples))))
  • MupetteMupette Forumite
    4.6K posts
    What???? They have to actually legislate against watching a film whilst driving? Is it not obvious it's a really bad idea? And it was only a €135 fine?

    It would be interesting to have official confirmation whether the breathalysers are compulsory for non-French residents, do you know if there's been any confirmation yet Mupette? And will hire cars come with them or would you be expected to provide your own?

    hmm worth checking with companies about that, if they aren't sure (which they should be) I would buy my own just in case.
    GNU
    Terry Pratchett
    ((((Ripples))))
  • TarryTarry Forumite
    11.2K posts
    I guessed it applied to everyone not just French drivers.
    x
    The Very Right Honourable Lady Tarry of the Alphabetty thread
    -I just love finding bargains and saving money
    I love to travel as much as I can when I can
    Life has a way to test you, it's how you deal with this that matters
  • Mupette wrote: »
    Already law, as i said i rang my dad yesterday and asked was in it force and who did it apply to, he told me it is already in force and it does indeed apply to everyone, not just the French drivers.

    hth

    The sat nav speed camera law has been in effect from Jan 2012. However its not sure how this can be enforced because the gendarmes can't examine the contents of your sat nav unit for no reason. Maybe the douanes are going to check on entering the country as they are able to check without a reason.

    As for the breathalyser law, it has been passed by government but won't become law till 1 July 2012. Furthermore if you get caught in the first few months, you will get a warning and be told about the requirement until 1st November. After 1st November is when they will start issuing fines for non compliance.

    The text of the breathalyser decree is here
  • MupetteMupette Forumite
    4.6K posts
    Ok, dad has already got his in the car. ready i guess, although his will just gather dust.
    GNU
    Terry Pratchett
    ((((Ripples))))
  • arthaartha Forumite
    5.3K posts
    If it's any help on this topic the AA still don't list breathalysers yet on their list of compulsory items:
    http://www.theaa.com/motoring_advice/touring_tips/compulsory_equipment.pdf

    AS far as I'm aware there will be no fines for not carrying this item until November 2012(but I guess things could change?).

    Slightly off topic but just a warning that some self interested companies/organisations will try to sell travellers all sorts of things that are recommended but not compulsory(legally). Spare light bulbs are a case in point. As far as I'm aware there is no legal requirement in France to carry a spare set of bulbs(The French certainly don't). As there are hefty fines for driving with a defective bulb it makes sense to carry bulbs that you can easily change yourself but for those of us that have HID/Xenon headlights and LED tail/stop it this is not possible at the roadside and and a very expensive spare to carry.
    Awaiting a new sig
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