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French breathaiyzer requirements


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I have been out of the lovely world of motoring for a couple of years and now want to catch up on the rules and regs.

How many of you carry breathalyzers when in France. If you are stopped and do not have one, as far as you know, where do you stand?

Many thanks in advance.



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My mother in law is French and told me from the beginning not to bother. The fine for not carrying was only 10 euros and the chance of being stopped and checked was minimal. And as soon as the French discovered that the analysers only lasted a couple of years those few that had bought them gave up entirely. Eventually common sense prevailed and the on the spot fines were abandoned.
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I have two kits but they're well out of date now. The legislation was put in place but they had a change of heart and simply didn't enact the legislation needed to police it, so it made the original act redundant. Very pragmatic.
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blaven - 2017-08-21 8:37 PM


Why would you want to breathalyse anyone in France anyway? ;-)


I expect they would record alcohol levels in the air , in your part of the country .(Whisky)


They where meant to be used to test if you where over the limit . Though why they decided drivers should carry there own , ?? Perhaps to save cost to the Police , if drivers had to have there own means of testing?


French Logic? No money for the politicians brother who made them,


We have 2 in van, but they are now outdated. but they did not say anything about dates!

Are the ferries still selling them? I shall look next week when we go across,






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The French regulations regarding ‘equipment’ that must be carried in a motor vehicle driven in France were recently discussed here




The breathalyser law was one of several measures introduced after Nicolas Sarkozy had been involved in road-safety decision-making. The fine for non-compliance was (is) 11€, but Manuel Valls (then Minister of the Interior) publically stated that this penalty would not be imposed.


The thinking behind the French breathalyser law is obvious - it permitted drivers to self-test their alcohol-level before driving, in a similar manner to using the equipment provided in French night-clubs. That the law ‘failed’ was in part due to supply-and-demand problems delaying its implementation, but more importantly that experiments had shown that the accuracy of the single-use breathalysers being marketed then could not be relied on.


NF-certified single-use breathalysers are still offered for sale on ferries




and on-line



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