France to Require All Drivers to Carry Breathalyzers
July 2, 2012 8:48 AM
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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
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.
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.
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.
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RE: Nanny State...
7/2/2012 10:44:00 PM
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.
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