Half of motorists are unaware that the breathalysers they will soon need to carry in France must be certified to the French NF standard, according to the IAM’s (Institute of Advanced Motorists) latest web poll of 2300 respondents. Compulsory from 1st July, the easiest way to tell if the breathalyser complies with the French legislation is to make sure it has the blue circular NF logo, the French equivalent of the BSI kite mark in the UK.
Other findings show that 82 per cent of people think that the new regulations will have no effect on reducing drink driving, as intended by the French authorities. Only 13 per cent said that the new regulations will reduce people driving over the limit, and 70 per cent said that drivers will only carry them to comply with the law, and will not change their behaviour.
Despite a general scepticism about the impact these new regulations will have, compliance is set to be high. Seventy-five per cent of respondents plan to take the breathalyser kit with them. Only seven per cent said they didn’t plan to. Eighteen per cent didn’t know or hadn’t thought about it.
The legal limit in France is 50 mg per 100 ml of blood, lower than in the UK (the UK limit is 80mg).
IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “Agree with the changes or not, from July 1st you will face a fine if you don’t carry an NF approved breathalyser while travelling in France. While these are a good way of being sure you are safe to drive, if you’re going to drink don’t drive, and beware the morning after effect.
“We will be looking forward to seeing the evaluation of what impact this new legislation is having. Support is likely to be higher if people can see that carrying a breathalyser actually reduces drink driving.”
AlcoSense Breathalyser managing director Hunter Abbott said: “There are a lot of products being sold as “French Breathalysers” which will not satisfy the Gendarmerie. If the product you buy has the French NF logo on it you’ll be OK, otherwise the Gendarmerie will not accept it and may treat you the same way as if you do not have one at all. AlcoSense NF Breathalysers (Redline R1) are one of only two single use products on the market which are on the Official Securite Routier approved list. If you purchase a product not on the list or without the NF logo, it puts you at risk of breaking the new law.”