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Breath test kits obligatory

Drivers and bikers must carry alcohol kits from July 1, but get period of grace until November

DRIVERS and motorcyclists will be obliged to carry a breath test in their vehicles from July 1 after the publication of the new law in the Journal Officiel.

Foreign visitors and tourists also come under the new law which opinion polls have said is welcomed by two in three voters in France.

Anyone found not carrying a breath test kit will face a fine of €11 and only cyclomoteurs - two-wheelers of under 50cc - will be exempt. A period of grace will mean it will not be enforced until November 1.

Alcohol is the major cause of road deaths - one-third of the 1,150 deaths in 2010 were linked to alcohol, with that rising to 58.7% in weekend night-time accidents.

The move is a bid to make road-users more aware of their responsibility to ensure they are legally able to drive. Advice from the Sécurité Routière is to carry two kits - to cover any eventual usage.

Costs for the simple balloon-type are no more than €1.50. They should carry the NF (Norme Française) logo and should be changed every two years.

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