On 1st July new legislation brought in by the French government requires all motorists to carry a breathalyser kit in their car and, if caught without one, will face a fine of €11 (£9.00). Single-use breathalyser kits are available from as little as £2 and should be available from ferry port shops and other high-street retailers; it is a good idea to carry at least two single-use kits so, if one is required, a spare is still available, preventing a fine being issued if stopped by the French police.
The French drink driving limit is 50 g of alcohol in 100ml of blood, lower than the UK limit of 80mg. Motorists that are found with between 50mg and 80mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood could be fined €135 (£109) and face six points on their driving licence. If the driver is above 80mg then they could face a fine of €4,500 (£3,629), lose their licence and be sent to prison for up to two years.
Doubts have been cast on the accuracy of breathalyser kits and the general rule is, if you drive, don’t drink or if you drink, don’t drive.
People driving in France are already required to carry a warning triangle and a fluorescent safety vest in the main section of their car. In addition they must display a GB plate and have their headlights adjusted to the right. Satellite navigation systems that detect speed cameras are also banned and even if not in use, drivers can face a hefty fine of €1,500 (£1,209).
So if you are likely to drive in France this summer or elsewhere in Europe it may be a good idea to ensure you comply with this recent legislation.
For further information or advice in respect of motor insurance issues, please contact William Nicholl on 0191 232 1151 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.