The IAM is warning that from 1 July this year all drivers visiting France will need to carry a breathalyser kit in their cars, as French drivers will have to. From November there will be an €11 fine for not complying with this.
With a start date for the new measure of 1 July 2012, the rules will apply for anyone travelling to or through France by car in the summer holiday season, even just for a day trip.
Single-use breathalyser kits will satisfy the requirement. The legal limit in France is 50 mg per 100 ml of blood, lower than in the UK (the UK limit is 80mg). They cost between £1 and £2 and they will be available at ferry and tunnel terminals for crossings to France. It is intended that people will be able to test themselves to check whether or not they are over the French limit.
The IAM is advising motorists in France to have at least two breathalysers at all times, so that if one is used you still have one to produce for the police if you are stopped.
Anyone driving in France is already required to carry a warning triangle and a fluorescent safety vest to use in an emergency. Additionally UK motorists must display a GB plate and have their headlights adjusted to the right.
IAM director of policy and research Neil Greig said: “The new French rule is a genuine attempt to reduce the number of alcohol related-accidents. France’s lower limit means it’s very easy to be over the limit the morning after as well. As always, the best advice for motorists is not to drink and drive at all.”