Important Note - the information presented on this page is subject to change without notification. We will monitor the situation and bring you the latest news as it becomes available.
In a new plan to cut deaths on French roads attributable to alcohol , that was announced in December 2011 by French president Nicolas Sarkozy, every driver in France will need to keep a breathalyzer kit in their vehicle.
The new French breathalyzer kit regulations will come into force from 1st July 2012 however, it has been widely publicised that on the spot fines (expected to be around €12) for not carrying an unused kit in your vehicle are not expected to be levied before November 2012.
These new French driving regulations will mean that all drivers travelling in (or through) France by road (including British drivers) will be required to carry a breathalyzer kit in their vehicle that they can use to test themselves to see if they are over the French drink drive limit of 0.05% BAC (0.02% BAC for Professional Drivers). If a driver is stopped by the police they will be expected to produce an "un-opened" and "in-date" breathalyzer kit on request.
Webmaster Latest Update (June 2012) - Prior to my visit at the start of June, I was able to purchase a Twin Pack at the Eurotunnel Terminal and other anglers purchased their units on the Ferry. The kits are "Time Limited" and will need to be replaced. The twin pack I purchased (for £5.99) expires March 2014 (two years) but, there are others on the market which only have a one year expiry date. Kits are available on-line (I was able to obtain 5 single packed items via Amazon) however, they may take a while to arrive due to the current high demand (my order took 2 months but the order was placed at the end of March when supplies were difficult to obtain).
When purchasing Breath Alcohol Detectors for presentation on request by the police in France, please be aware that they must carry NF approval ratings! Trading Standards in the UK are looking into this and we will keep our eye on this and issue an update if the situation changes. At this moment in time however, presenting a non-NF approved device means that you will still be liable for a fine. Whilst gathering information for this page, we were advised that there are only two manufacturers who carry the NF approval rating (redline and contralco) and they have appointed, authorised distributors within the UK.
We must thank Nigel Butterworth (Breathalyzers Direct) for the heads-up on these issues.
Drivers on a normal driving license are advised to carry at least 2 of the disposable 0.05% single use breathalyzer kits in their vehicle so that, if they use one of the breath tests to breathalyse themselves, they have a spare breathalyzer kit to produce, if required to do so by the French police.
If you don't carry a spare that can be produced when requested by the French police - you WILL (from November 2012) receive and on the spot fine (expected to be around €12) and you may not be allowed to continue your journey!
Professional drivers such as bus & coach drivers, lorry drivers etc. must carry the lower limit 0.02% BAC breathalyzer kits rather than the 0.05% AC breathalyzer kits.
The information provided above has been distilled from other information available on the world wide web. Use the phrase "French Breathalyzer" in any search engine should provide links to loads of information.
Note from webmaster: -
During my search for info, I found the following sites that helped drive the information provided above. There are a lot more sites and information available but, its a good start.