Breathalyser Kits in All Cars Heading to France
Got your summer holiday booked, yet? It’s still February, the temperature outside is barely touching double figures and many people will have sought out an antidote to the winter blues by busying themselves with the prospect of a break abroad in a few months’ time.
But if your country of choice this summer happens to be France, or at least involves a road trip through our Gallic cousins’ territory, then as well as suitcases, passports, sun cream and spare change for motorway tolls, don’t forget to pack a breathalyser kit.
As of 1st July all drivers visiting France, even if only for a day, must carry breathalysers so as to not fall foul of new rules.
France has a higher road death toll than even the UK, despite there being fewer cars and drivers there, and this new requirement is seen as one way of trying to tackle the problem.
Failure to have a kit in your car can result in an 11Euro fine; as Fleet Directory points out this is not a large sum, but the fine is only part of the new system.
No breathalyser also means the police are at liberty to conduct a breath test of the driver and the expectations are that this will reveal a significant number of people still over the limit (50mg per 100ml of blood in France, compared with 80mg in the UK), either from the previous night or from a spot of lunchtime boozing.
The Institute of Advanced Motorists says kits cost between £1 and £2 and will be available from ferry and tunnel terminals for crossings to France and it is advising motorists to carry at least two with them at all times.
With only five months to go before the rule is introduced (although a period of grace means fines may not be levied until November) there remain concerns about the absence of state-approved kits and the considerable variations different tests can give.
But, like the message continually being driven home back in Blighty, if you’re the designated driver then as far as alcohol is concerned the safest option is to say non.
For further information contact Anton Balkitis or Lucy Wood on 0800 046 3066 or visit the website if you are looking for drink driving solicitors.