Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

A Breathalyzer of fresh air? Drunk tests now mandatory in all French vehicles

A breathalyzer test machine.

All vehicles travelling on French roads must carry a chemical or electronic Breathalyzer test starting Sunday, under new rules aimed at reducing alcohol-driven accidents.

"Alcohol has been the main cause of mortality on roads since 2006," according to road security authorities.

About a third of fatalities on French roads is due to drunk driving, a rate that far surpasses the 17 per cent recorded in Britain or 10 per cent in Germany.

Story continues below advertisement

According to a survey published Sunday, just over half of respondents – 57 per cent – said they have yet to equip their vehicles with Breathalyzer tests.

Those who fail to do so risk a fine of €11 ($14) from November 1, 2012, when the penalty comes into force.

Drivers are split over the measure.

"I find it absurd to be booked for that. But it's the law, so I'll be subject to it," said Hamou Louachiche, 38, who still does not have a test in his car.

He believes that such tests would be more useful in bars or nightclubs.

Others however welcome the measure, saying it would reduce drunk driving.

Report an error
Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.