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Breathalyzer law to be introduced from March 1st 2013, and be extended to Scooter Riders as well:

Breath test law should be pursued

February 14, 2013

ROAD safety authorities have urged the government to press ahead with plans to make breathalysers compulsory in vehicles - but they say a fine is not necessary.

The Conseil National de la Sécurité Routière met yesterday and voted in favour of the breathalyser law, which was originally due to come into force last July and was delayed twice - to November and then March.

The group acknowledged that there were still doubts about the effectiveness of the breathalysers, but recommended that the obligation to have one in vehicles should be pursued - and extended to scooter riders.

At its meeting yesterday the CNSR also recommended bringing back warning signs announcing the presence of speed cameras. They were dug up last year, but a number remain in place, alongside new "radars pédagogiques" which display a vehicle's speed but do not issue fines.

The number of people killed on French roads fell by 8% in 2012. Alcohol remains the primary cause of fatal accidents.

French saga will leave you breathless

DID you know you must, by law, carry a breathalyser in your car while driving in France after July 1, writes Mike Scialom?

That’s the good news, the not-so-good news is that there are only two registered global suppliers of this piece of kit: one is in the UK, the other in France.

The UK supplier is called AlcoDigital, and the firm is struggling to meet demand. AlcoDigital is the company behind the award-winning AlcoDigital 3000 Digital Breathalyzer that recently won top honours in the 2011 What Car? Breathalyser Review, and already supply a wide range of breathalysers from companies like Draeger and AlcoHawk through their website Right now AlcoDigital is operating a “first come, first served” operation on its sales, as I discovered when I spoke with the firm’s managing director.

“The bottom line is that you need an approved breathalyser in your car while driving in France from July 1,” he explains. “We’re finding most people are buying about five. The main message is that if it hasn’t got ‘NF’ approval it’s not valid, and we’re looking to motoring organisations to give us a stamp of approval of some sort because ‘NF’ doesn’t mean anything to anyone.”

Well, ‘NF’ stands for ‘National Francaise’ and it’s the equivalent of a Department of Health approval in the UK. So now you know.

Driving through France requires motorists to carry breathalyzer kits

As from July (enforceable from Nov 1st) a new regulation will require all drivers visiting France will need to carry a breathalyser in their cars, the rules apply to anyone travelling to or through France by car in the summer holiday season even just for a day trip

IAM ( the Institute of Advanced Motorists) is advising motorists in France to have at least two breathalysers at all times, so that if one is used you still have one to produce for the police if you are stopped. Neil Greig, director of policy and research said “the new French rule is a genuine attempt to reduce the number of alcohol related-accidents. France’s lower limit means it’s very easy to be over the limit the morning after as well. As always, the best advice for motorists is not to drink and drive at all.”

The legal limit in France is 50 mg per 100 ml of blood lower than in the UK (the UK limit is 80mg).

 Chronic Stock Shortage Hits

Not surprisingly, given the need to produce in excess of 50 MILLION kits (over 10 times that of a normal YEAR, in just nine months) stocks of approved kits have now hit chronic proportions.

Redline and Contralco, the only two manufacturers of the approved kits are working flat-out to produce as many kits as possible but equipment breakdowns and panic-buying is making the situation worse.

Contralco have new machinery coming online in late May/early June that will increase their capacity ten-fold but even then the shortages are likely to continue well into the winter and it is probably that unless drivers have already placed orders, they will struggle to be able to purchase a kit once the November 1st deadline approaches.

All NF kits have a fixed shelf life of two years however and now that the November 1st "Enforcement Date" has been officially confirmed by the  French Government, many motorists are instead opting to place firm orders now for kits to be delivered in October. That way they maximise the shelf life of their kits while ensuring that they will definitely have a kit in the car in time for the introduction of the regulations.

Pre-planned ordering of kits gives the motorist approximately 20-25% longer life time out of the kit before it needs replacing, and allows production in the factory to be pre-scheduled for more efficient production and dispatch.

For details of how to pre-order your kit for delivery in October, Click Here.


Photo credit: Geraint Rowland

Government confirms new breathalyzer law
Published: 01 Mar 2012 12:56 GMT+1

The French government announced officially on Thursday that all cars must carry a single-use breathalyzer kit from November 1st. The move, which has been widely reported for some time, was made official in a decree on February 28th and published on Thursday.

"Every driver of a motorised land vehicle, excluding mopeds, must possess an unused and immediately available breathlyzer," said the decree, published in the official gazette ("Journal Officiel de la République Française").

Transport ministry officials told The Local that the rule would apply equally to vehicles from outside France. July and August are busy months on the French roads as millions of French people and tourists head for their holiday destinations.

A fine of €11 ($15) will be charged to anyone not carrying the breathalyzer kit, but police have been told to start fining only from November 1st.

The new law is the latest attempt to reduce France's road accident rate. Around 4,000 people died on French roads in 2011, a very slight improvement on the figure for the year before. Drink driving is believed to be responsible for one in three road deaths.

The government hopes having a kit in the car will allow people to test themselves and to give them the means to test others if they suspect they are over the limit. The legal blood alcohol limit in France is 0.5 grams per litre.

President Nicolas Sarkozy promised the measure in November in the hope of slashing drink driving, responsible for 31 percent of fatal road accidents. Disposable breathalysers have been available in French bars and nightclubs since then.

New coaches have been equipped with breathalyser tests that prevent drivers starting the ignition since January 2010. The devices are to be installed in all coaches by the start of the 2015 school year.

A total of 3,970 people died on French roads in 2011, down barely 0.5 percent or 22 lives compared to 2010. When Sarkozy came to power in 2007 he set the government the ambitious target of reducing annual road deaths to 3,000 by 2012.

The new breathalyzer requirement will be added to the existing rules compelling drivers to carry a warning triangle and a fluorescent safety vest. Failure to have these in the car can lead to a €90 fine. is maintained and operated by AlcoDigital Limited, UK Importers for Contralco fr.
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