Friday, 6 July 2012


As of 1st July 2012, it is now mandatory to have a breathalyser kit in any car driving in France. This recent law has come into force in an attempt to reduce accidents and road deaths and mortality caused by alcohol on the roads and to give a sense of responsibility to drivers.

It is important the equipment is EC approved. The cost varies from 1€ to 2€ for single use breathalyzers up to over 100€ for electronic reusable ones. They are available in various sale points throughout France. However, it is interesting to note there already is a shortage of such equipment in France due to the diligent response from drivers wishing to buy a test for their car and currently they are hard to locate for purchase.

Motorists without a kit will be faced with an on the spot fine of 11€, including foreigners driving on French roads. However, there will be a grace period until 1st November 2012.

Random checks will be made by French police through the Channel Tunnel to enforce this law. So make sure to be prepared with such a breathalyser in your car, when travelling to France.

As a reminder to all our French property hunters who will be driving in France, the drink-driving limit in France is 50mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood – 30 mg less than the UK limit!

On a lighter and ironic note, this French law also applies to tractors and all agricultural driving machinery… that accounts for approximately 1 200 000 vehicles in France!

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