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Breath tests now required

AS OF this month you are legally obliged to carry two breath test kits in your car - one to use if necessary and a spare

AS OF this month you are legally obliged to carry two breath test kits in your car - one to use if necessary and a spare so you always have an unused one available.

From July 1 the requirement has been added to other obligatory items, such as a yellow vest and a red triangle to be used in the case of an accident. Not carrying an unused test carries an €11 fine.

However, the government has said fines will not be levied in practice until November 1 to give people time to get used to the plan.

Kits should not be past their use-by date and should be marked “NF” (norme française) - ones bought abroad may not be suitable (tourists coming by car will have to buy a French kit on the ferry, or on arrival).

The government hopes this will reduce drink driving and deaths and injuries on the roads. The purpose is selftesting if you think you might have drunk too much. However it is a guideline only - having used one will not be a defence if you are tested over the limit by the police.

Kits are available for about €1 from pharmacies, tobacconists and service stations although many outlets are reportedly running out of stocks. Riders of motorbikes (but not mopeds) also have to carry the tests.

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