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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Breathalyzers Mandatory in France

A nation of wine drinkers has been ordered to take a deep breath.  As of July 1, 2012 drivers in France must have a certified breath-analysis device on board.  Those who do not will be fined.  Unfortunately, the law doesn't appear to require drivers to ever actually use the breathalyzers that must be in their cars.

France is the first country in the world to legislate this requirement.  Legal blood alcohol limit in France is 0.05.  The U.S. is less restrictive at 0.08. Norway and Sweden, however, have an almost zero tolerance for driving and drinking---theirs is a whopping 0.02. 

What prompted this drastic measure?  Deaths from motor accidents involving alcohol are very high in France---about 30% of all road fatalities are alcohol-related. 

Renting a car this summer in France?   No worries about trying to find a breathalyzer.  Your car, by law, will come stocked with a disposable, one-time use gadget---- otherwise you won’t be allowed to drive it off the lot.  You can find the contraception’s 2 Euro cost somewhere in the fine print of your contract…probably for 25 Euro.

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