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French breathalyzer  (Source: DW.com)
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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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
quote:
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?


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