France drops breath test fines

Drivers must still carry éthylotest but will no longer face a penalty for not doing so

4 March 2013

France has finally dropped plans to fine motorists who do not have a breath test kit in their vehicles – but has left in place the law obliging them to carry the kits.

Under the law introduced by the Sarkozy government last year, drivers and motorcyclists faced an €11 fine for not carrying a breath test kit. The law was due to come into full force on July 1, 2012 but the imposition of fines was delayed until November due to the shortage of kits.

This November date was then further extended to March 1 and French manufacturer, Contralco, said it had taken on 160 extra staff to try to meet demand.

However, new Interior Minister Manuel Valls had indicated he was sceptical of the value of the kits and asked the Conseil National de la Sécurité Routière to have another look at the plan.

The CNSR said on February 13 that it recommended the carrying of a breath test in vehicles but in a decree published on Friday in the Journal Officiel the government annulled the sanction of the €11 fine.

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Photo: Firenight -

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