Breathalyser Rules in France

Most people may be aware that the French have introduced a law which means that "Every driver of a motorised land vehicle, excluding mopeds, must possess an unused and immediately available breathalyser". This applies to not only private motorists but also lorry and coach drivers.

Although the legislation comes into force on 1 July, French police are understood not to be enforcing it before 1 Nov to give manufacturers time to respond to the surge in demand for breathalysers.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists recommend that motorists visiting France should carry at least two breathalysers at all times, so that if one is used or damaged they will still have one to produce for the police if stopped. A fine of €11 will be charged for failure to comply.

You should also bear in mind that the legal limits applied in France at 50mg per 100 ml of blood are lower than in the UK. Professional drivers of passenger vehicles (buses or coaches) have an even tighter limit of 20 mg per 100 ml.