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Added alcohol immobiliser penalty for drink drivers

Trial that allows authorities to force drivers convicted of drink-driving to install specialised immobilisers on their vehicles extended to a fourth department

Motorists in Finistère who have been convicted of drink-driving could only be allowed back behind the wheel after serving any ban if their car is fitted with an alcohol-activated immobiliser.

The additional condition for drivers returning to the roads after a ban is part of a trial that has already been introduced in Drôme, Marne, and Nord, and will come into in effect in Finistère from December 1. If successful, it could be rolled out nationwide from 2019.

Drivers will be able to get back behind the wheel on a temporary licence if they agree to install the device at their own expense and agree to undergo medical and psychological checks at a specialised addiction clinic.

School buses and coaches are already required to have the alcohol interlock systems in France

The devices - a breathalyser attached to the vehicle's ignition system - will not allow the vehicle to start if the driver's alcohol level is above a pre-set limit, which may be as low as zero. Drivers must also take a second test within 20 minutes of starting the engine, otherwise an alarm will sound.

They cost between €1,200 and €1,500, or can be rented for €100 a month, and can only be fitted at approved garages.

Returning drivers' temporary licences include information that the vehicle being driven must be fitted with the immobiliser.

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