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French breathalyzer  (Source:
Fines for not carrying a breathalyzer in France to begin in November

It's hard to think of France without thinking about wine. As part of a French plan to curb drunk driving within the country, France has become the first country to require all drivers to carry handheld breathalyzers in all vehicles. The law extends to tourists as well. The law went into effect on July 1 and was approved in March of 2011.
The requirement is an attempt to get drivers to check their alcohol level before starting their vehicles. Detroit News reports that France had about 4000 road deaths in 2011, down from 16,000 annually in the early 1970s. Nearly 30% of road deaths within France are alcohol-related working out to about 1150 deaths per year.
The French law allows for small fines for not carrying handheld breathalyzer in your vehicle of €11, or about $14 and will go into effect in November. Along with the new requirement for breathalyzers in vehicles, France has also become stricter on drunken driving laws and imposed tougher penalties over the last several years. French law also requires drivers to carry a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, and spare light bulbs for headlamps.
Safety advocates in the US are said to be watching France closely hinting at the possibility of trying to get something similar passed in the United States. Last week the American Beverage Institute, which represents more than 8000 restaurants, opposed a measure that would expand research on alcohol ignition interlock's. These are the sort of interlocks some convicted drunk drivers have to use that prevent them from starting a vehicle if they have been drinking. 

Sacre bleu
Sacré bleu!  French drivers must now carry a breathalyzer before hitting the road.
[Image Source: Fixie Fridays]
The House and Senate in the United States approved a highway bill last week funding the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety program. This federal program would work to create alcohol detection systems for installation as standard equipment on all cars. The bill sets aside $5 million in additional funding over the next two years for the research program. The highway bill also sets aside $20 million in grants from the Department of Transportation as incentives to states to pass laws requiring ignition interlocks as punishment for first-time drunk drivers.
"The House and Senate should amend the interlock provisions of the highway bill to apply only to the high-BAC and repeat drunk drivers who cause the vast majority of alcohol-impaired fatalities," said Sarah Longwell, ABI's managing director.

Source: Detroit News

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Nanny State...
By Arsynic on 7/2/12, Rating: 0
RE: Nanny State...
By albus on 7/2/2012 9:50:12 AM , Rating: 2
Governments by nature are totalitarian and have a problem with free choice. If I were determined today to go out and kill 10 people out of free choice, there's no law that can be written to prevent that.

This is for those who kill others unintentionally. You know, drunk driving.

RE: Nanny State...
By Schrag4 on 7/2/2012 10:17:27 AM , Rating: 4
Somehow I doubt that drunks will follow the advice of this little device. Will it cause MORE drunk driving? Probably not. But just like all nanny state laws, it punishes everyone for a few stupid peoples' decisions, and it most likely won't have a significant impact on drunk driving.

I forget which commedian it was, but he said that having a breathalyzer handy merely created a new drinking game - to see how high you could get it to go!

RE: Nanny State...
By albus on 7/2/2012 10:23:26 AM , Rating: 4
There are some who wouldn't care. Most people don't exactly know that how much alcohol is unsafe. This is meant for them.

<sarcasm> Next time, they should ban driving licenses. Coz they are not good at preventing accidents. </sarcasm>

RE: Nanny State...
By AmbroseAthan on 7/2/2012 10:38:31 AM , Rating: 1
"Sushi Pants Story" by Tucker Max is a good example, can read it for free on the website... The horrible reality of Breathalyzers in a bar.

RE: Nanny State...
By 91TTZ on 7/2/2012 1:52:21 PM , Rating: 1
This is for those who kill others unintentionally. You know, drunk driving.


You didn't address his point in any way.

RE: Nanny State...
By albus on 7/2/2012 2:49:03 PM , Rating: 2
I said that people who don't consider themselves heavily drunk would be benefitted by this device. Heavily drunk people don't need a device to find out.

RE: Nanny State...
By BluntForceTrama on 7/5/2012 10:44:10 PM , Rating: 2
Heavily drunk people don't need a device to find out.

They tend to be so far into denial, and of their great driving abilities, that no device or even best friend would make any difference.

RE: Nanny State...
By Samus on 7/3/2012 1:26:03 AM , Rating: 2
I have an Alcohawk breathalyzer and it is among the most reputable models consumers can purchase. Even still, it must be recalibrated every 6-12 months depending on use, which isn't cheap ($35) and will otherwise be inaccurate.

France has some crazy vehicle mandates. I remember renting a car there and noticing the glovebox had a collection of light bulbs. I was told vehicles in France must always carry a spare bulb for every exterior bulb type.

That's ridiculous, just like this breathalyzer law, because carrying these things doesn't mean you are going to use them.

The other problem is one of the causes for bulb failure is vibration, so 10 years down the road there is no guarantee that spare bulb is going to fire after being shaken over 100,000 miles, anyway.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

RE: Nanny State...
By rdhood on 7/3/2012 12:00:23 PM , Rating: 2
France has some crazy vehicle mandates. I remember renting a car there and noticing the glovebox had a collection of light bulbs. I was told vehicles in France must always carry a spare bulb for every exterior bulb type.

So now it will be: light bulbs, breathalyzer, safety vest, warning triangle. How long will it be till you have to have a spare car for that car?

RE: Nanny State...
By AnnihilatorX on 7/2/2012 9:50:45 AM , Rating: 2
I agree, there's absolutely no point, people who thought of this is either brain dead or is a lobbyist from the breathanalyzer manufacturers.

The only way this would work is integrating it to the engine management system so that car won't start. Oh I better not give them any ideas

RE: Nanny State...
By zephyrprime on 7/2/2012 12:21:51 PM , Rating: 2
Ideas like this have been around for a long time. I believe there are already devices like what you speak of that are required for some people already convicted of drunk driving.

RE: Nanny State...
By Qapa on 7/2/2012 10:44:00 PM , Rating: 2
Putting those 2 together - breathalyzer + engine turning on - is a bad idea... for 2 reasons:
1 - it can be bypassed too easily (blow into a baloon before drinking, tie it.. untie it to drive or simply ask someone to blow on your cars...)
2 - it can worsen emergency scenarios where you are having a difficulty breathing... and want to drive to somewhere...

As for this law, it is intended for me and most people I know, which are lots of people that are convinced we didn't drinking too much, but have absolutely NO idea on what that means in numbers... so I guess this is a great idea!! In fact, I've suggested a "similar" approach when they tried to lower the limits where I live... the idea would be almost like this, but only mandatory if you have more than 0 - if you're confident the machine won't take you above... 0 ;) then you wouldn't need to buy it (which I guess for some people would make sense never to buy one... some religions and whatnot.

RE: Nanny State...
By FITCamaro on 7/2/2012 9:52:53 AM , Rating: 3
No socialist, monarchist, theocratic, and communist governments have that problem. A properly structured government is designed to prevent that. But the rule of law has to be followed. The Constitution set up a government designed to prevent that. But decades of abuse had eroded that government to a shadow of what the founders originally intended.

RE: Nanny State...
By ClownPuncher on 7/2/2012 2:49:20 PM , Rating: 2
Wait, are you talking about the US, or France?

RE: Nanny State...
By Paedric on 7/2/2012 11:28:20 AM , Rating: 2
Just to make it clear, it's not mandatory to use them, it's mandatory to have one in your car.

As far as I am aware, they are not aiming for the really drunk people (who are not going to use them anyway), but for people that have been to the restaurant and drank 2-3 glass of wines. It's hard to say whether you are above the limit or not, and a test can clear that.

Now whether it is actually useful or not, that's another story.
It looks like there have been some lobbying going on though.

RE: Nanny State...
By Manch on 7/2/2012 5:44:12 PM , Rating: 2
And when the device says they are gtg and get pulled over anyways, ticketed, jailed for being over the limit somebody will sue. This should be good....

So effective November...we will read the article in January 13

RE: Nanny State...
By steven975 on 7/2/2012 11:36:48 AM , Rating: 3
if it saves one life, it is all worth it.


RE: Nanny State...
By Stuka on 7/2/12, Rating: 0
RE: Nanny State...
By 91TTZ on 7/2/2012 1:56:05 PM , Rating: 2
ny first DUI conviction without a fatality should be minimum 6mo in prison and revocation of driving license for at least 10yrs, maybe permanent. Any second DUI conviction should be 10yrs prison. Third DUI is life, no parole. Also, driving to a place for the purpose of getting yourself drunk should be deemed tantamount to premeditation of any resultant crime.

Why would you throw someone in prison for 10 years instead of just taking away their driver's license?

RE: Nanny State...
By bah12 on 7/2/2012 1:57:53 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, now if you get caught driving after you have been revoked then life.

RE: Nanny State...
By BluntForceTrama on 7/5/2012 10:41:36 PM , Rating: 2
You should ask yourself how many people in the US are driving right now with a suspended license.

RE: Nanny State...
By Jeffk464 on 7/2/2012 5:59:48 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't France's solution to drunk driving the subway?

RE: Nanny State...
By BluntForceTrama on 7/5/2012 10:47:03 PM , Rating: 2
No, that's Manhattan.

RE: Nanny State...
By BluntForceTrama on 7/5/2012 10:56:50 PM , Rating: 2
If I were determined today to go out and kill 10 people out of free choice, there's no law that can be written to prevent that.

And there lies the weakness of your argument. These people don't intend to kill anyone. What they believe is all that bad stuff won't happen to them and/or the penalties for being caught won't be that harsh. Teenagers think they are invincible. Ask any kid that's been in an accident if they believed that was going to happen to them today or at any time. Check out how surprised everyone is when a fellow classmate dies over the weekend, either at their own hands or some other drunk.

Your argument is mere chest thumping, give it a rest already. Shoot for synaptic activity.

How much does breathalyzer cost?
By jdietz on 7/2/2012 10:35:59 AM , Rating: 2
How much does breathalyzer cost? Not mentioned.

RE: How much does breathalyzer cost?
By Avatar28 on 7/2/2012 10:50:47 AM , Rating: 2
Most of the the ones I've seen are in the $40-60 range. I think there are some cheaper ones that use some sort of disposable cartridge but I haven't seen those for sale anywhere.

RE: How much does breathalyzer cost?
By DanNeely on 7/2/2012 11:06:43 AM , Rating: 2
So this only pays for itself after the 3rd or 4th time you're pulled over and checked!?!? Unless French cops do a lot of random checkpoints I can't see the average person buying one to comply with this law.

RE: How much does breathalyzer cost?
By twhittet on 7/2/2012 11:15:15 AM , Rating: 2
You can buy the one time use one for like $5. That's all anyone would do. It's small, and it would let you abide by the law. The spare headlights I'm sure are more expensive and take up more room.

99.9% of people would never used it for it's intended purpose though, so rather pointless.

By BluntForceTrama on 7/5/2012 10:37:10 PM , Rating: 2
You would think that the country that practically invented fake IDs so youth could drink would come up with a breathalyzer that lies and reads you're sober enough to drive.

RE: How much does breathalyzer cost?
By Paedric on 7/2/2012 11:21:06 AM , Rating: 2
2€ before the law, but it might increase now that it is mandatory. They are out of stock currently.

However your point still stand, it's probably cheaper not to buy one (especially since it's only valid for 2 years).
The only time where you are going to be controlled for that is if you've been arrested for something else (speeding, ...) and you've pissed off the officer.

RE: How much does breathalyzer cost?
By zephyrprime on 7/2/2012 12:24:30 PM , Rating: 2
If it's mandatory, the price will probably go down because manufacturing will increase. Economy of scale.

By Paedric on 7/2/2012 2:28:59 PM , Rating: 2
AFAIK, there's only one brand that is ok'ed by the gov.
Since it already looks like the law was lobbied for, it will create an artificial monopoly the company will most probably abuse.

By Totally on 7/2/2012 9:18:42 AM , Rating: 2
"...spare light bulbs for headlamps."

Why? Are they expecting the driver to install the spare on the spot? That is not easily done on most cars.

RE: k?...
By spamreader1 on 7/2/2012 9:53:33 AM , Rating: 2
What kind of cars are you talking about? Most of the ones I've done are tooless (made in the last 20 years) and are reletivily easy to get to unless you have freakishly large hands.

RE: k?...
By KentState on 7/2/2012 11:52:25 AM , Rating: 2
I know personally of a handful of modern cars, both domestic and import, that require a considerable amount of effort to replace a bulb. For example, the Nissan Altima and Cadillac CTS both require tools to get to the bulbs. I believe the CTS requires even more effort like removal of the bumper.

RE: k?...
By 91TTZ on 7/2/2012 2:01:35 PM , Rating: 2
My girlfriend's Toyota is pretty hard since the battery is in the way. So you'd have to remove the battery first to give yourself the space needed.

RE: k?...
By rdhood on 7/3/2012 11:57:57 AM , Rating: 2
My wife's Hyundai...

Drivers side headlight... car battery must be removed to install headlight. Takes about 20 minutes to change a bulb WITH TOOLS.

Tail light covers must be removed to install tail lights. It is not hard, but it is time consuming. Takes about 20 minutes to change a bulb... WITH TOOLS.

RE: k?...
By silverblue on 7/2/2012 1:51:57 PM , Rating: 1
I've got a spare bulb kit in my boot. Handy for anything that's not a headlight bulb (used that one).

By cscpianoman on 7/2/2012 12:21:17 PM , Rating: 4
I know this is a rare occurrence in France, but what about those who don't drink? Discrimination much?

RE: So....
By BluntForceTrama on 7/5/2012 10:50:49 PM , Rating: 2
but what about those who don't drink?

Ever see anyone in France drinking water? Order water at a restaurant and the waiter will ask if you're ill. Even McD's serves alcohol.

This is what happens
By YashBudini on 7/5/2012 10:32:07 PM , Rating: 2
when breakfast, lunch, and dinner all come with wine.

Problem with this plan.
By dgingerich on 7/2/12, Rating: -1
RE: Problem with this plan.
By mackx on 7/3/2012 10:36:19 AM , Rating: 1
maybe you shouldn't be driving then. if you have that much of a problem blowing a little air and have such small lungs, whose to say you don't pass out due to lack of oxygen?

just saiyan

"Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life" -- Steve Jobs
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