France’s Minister of Interior has announced that fines for motorists who do not carry a breathalyser kit in their vehicle – previously due to come into force today, 1st March – have been shelved. All drivers in France are required to carry a breathalyser, and those without would have been liable for an €11 fine. Additionally, drivers in France must also carry a warning triangle and a high-visibility safety vest.
UK-based French holiday cottage specialist gites.co.uk says that drivers should still take heed of the breathalyser rule, and be aware of France’s tough drink-drive limits. Duncan Pollard said: “Even though traffic police won’t have the power to issue fines, you should still carry one of the readily-available disposable kits with you as part of your in-car safety equipment.”
A typical penalty for drink-driving in France is a €135 fine plus penalty points. Those guilty of an ‘aggravated’ offence can face up to €4,500 in fines and two years’ imprisonment.
“France may be well known for its wine and café culture,” added Duncan, “but there is little tolerance for those who mix it with driving.”
Current drink-drive limits around Europe include (mg per 100 ml of blood):
Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands: 50mg
Norway, Poland, Sweden: 20mg
Czech Republic, Russia: 0mg