New French breathalyser rule from July

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Drivers will need to carry breathalysers such as Alcolock when driving in France
Drivers will need to carry breathalysers such as Alcolock when driving in France

All drivers travelling to France will need to carry a breathalyser kit with them from July 1 and from November face a €11 fine for not complying, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) warns.

The new rule, which the CPT confirmed will apply to all drivers, applies to anyone travelling (driving) into or through France, even just for a day trip, as well as French drivers.

The IAM said single-use breathalyser kits will satisfy the requirement. The legal limit in France is 50 mg per 100 ml of blood, lower than in the UK, which is 80mg. The kits cost between £1 and £2 and they will be available at ferry and tunnel terminals for crossings to France. The IAM said the intention is for people to be able to test themselves to check whether they are over the French limit.

“Motorists in France to have at least two breathalysers at all times, so if one is used you still have one to produce for the police if you are stopped,” said the IAM.

IAM director of policy and research Neil Greig 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.”

A spokesman for the CPT said it is looking into the details. “We are talking to our French colleagues but broadly speaking this will apply to bus and coach,” he said.