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Alcohol Legislation

Alcohol Legislation


The French Government announced officially in March that all vehicles (excluding mopeds) must carry a single-use breathalyser kit from November 1st 2012.
The move, which has been widely reported for some time, was made official in a decree on February 28th 2012 and published in March 2012.
The law will be enacted on the 1st July and effective from November 1st 2012.

If you are travelling in France after this date then you will need to carry a breathalyser kit. This applies to both commercial and privately owned vehicles.

There is a fair amount of confusion over what is required; hopefully the following FAQ's will help:

Q. What do I need to carry?
A. You need to carry a French NF-Approved Digital Breathalyser Kit. A Disposable Breathalyser Kit is the cheapest solution. The French police are suggesting vehicles carry at least two, so that if one is used by the driver a second remains for inspection but the law requires either an NF approved digital breathalyser or one unused breathalyser kit.

Q. If the police think I have been drinking, will I have to use my kit or will the police use their own breathalyser to test me?
A. No. The Gendarme will NOT ask you to use your own kit - you simply have to carry a kit in the vehicle, the same as you need to carry a Hi Vis Jacket & Warning Triangle.

Q. What is 'NF' Approval?
A. It is an approval process run by the French Government and results in the breathalyser being given a certificate.

Q. What if my breathalyser isn't NF Approved?
A. Then unless you are really lucky and come across a very friendly Gendarme, you will be fined. To be approved it MUST have a bag to blow into and MUST have the NF logo on the packaging.

You can find alcohol breathalysers in our online store.



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