Bar breath tests could be mandatory

Bar breath tests could be mandatory

Breathalysers could be mandatory in all late-night bars and cafes from this summer, in plans discussed by ministers.

Public breathalysers could be mandatory in all late-night bars and cafes from this summer, in plans discussed by Nicolas Sarkozy’s cabinet.

The move, revealed by Ecology Minister Jean-Louis Borloo, follows a particularly deadly bank-holiday weekend with 17 fatalities on French roads, most of them alcohol related.

Mr Borloo said: “I want to make breathalyser tests obligatory in drinking establishments open till 2.00 am so that everyone can test their level, their condition, on leaving.”

The idea has already been trialled at 350 cafes and bars in the west of France.
Unions welcomed the idea in principle, but baulked at the potential cost of having breathalysers in every single establishment.

A spokesman for the Fédération Nationale des Cafés, Brasseries et Discothèques (FNCBD) said: “We are not against this. We believe, like government ministers do, that this will have a positive effect.

“However, with the cost of a breathalyser being between €2,500 and €3,500 each, we want to know who will bear the cost.

“Small establishments will not be able to afford one of these on their own.

“It has not been made clear who will shoulder the cost, and before we give the plan our backing, we need to know the answer to this question.”

In the weekend's deadliest accident, four people aged 15 through 26 were killed Saturday when the car they were in went off the road near Forbach, in the east of France.

Police said the driver, 36, who survived, had been drinking.

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