Drivers in France, including visitors from other countries, must carry a single-use breathalyzer kit in their car under new rules from the government.
The rules came into effect on July 1, 2012.
The decree states that every driver of a motorized land vehicle, excluding mopeds, must have a breathalyzer available. Drivers can decide whether to purchase chemical or electronic breathalyzers, which are available in stores at a starting price of 1 Euro (CAD $1.28). Failure to have a breathalyzer kit in the vehicle can result in an 11 Euro fine.
About 4,000 people died on French roads in 2011. The government says as many as 30 percent of deaths are alcohol-related.
The French government said it will start penalizing drivers without breathalyzers on November 1, 2012.
The French impaired driving limit is a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of .05%. In Canada, the BAC limit varies in each province but is generally between .05 and .08%.
French law mandates that all drivers in the country, including visitors, carry a number of items in their vehicle including headlamp adaptors, warning triangles, fluorescent safety vest, spare light bulbs, first aid kit, fire extinguisher and, if required, a spare pair of eyeglasses if the driver wears corrective eyewear.
More information is available (in French) on the government’s road safety agency website, Sécurité Routière.