New French Breathalyser Law

iStock_000008290408Mediumbreath-test-riskA new law is coming into force in France which requires motorists to carry an approved breathalyser or face a fine of €11 from the French Police.

The move is intended to help persons identify whether they are over the drink-drive limit, which is lower than that in the UK, and refrain from driving when they are over the limit. It is expected that the law may save up to 500 lives a year on France’s roads.

Although the law (which is part of a larger set of laws) is now in place it is not until 1st November 2012 that the requirement to carry a breathalyser will actually be enforced on the road. Random checks will be carried out by the Gendarmerie on all drivers, including crossings into France by ferry or through the Channel Tunnel.

Approved breathalyser kits come in two types; single-use chemical or more expensive but re-useable electronic.

In addition to the requirement for breathalyser kits, motorists in France must also carry a high-visibility vest and a warning triangle.

The changes highlight once again the need for UK businesses to understand local laws when sending their employees abroad, something that has commonly been overlooked.

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