French breathalyser law postponed

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French Interior Minister Manuel Valls has announced that the law requiring motorists in France to carry breathalyser kits has been postponed pending further reports.   

See:    http://www.thisfrenchlife.com/thisfrenchlife/2013/01/alcohol-breathalyser-law-suspended.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+thisfrenchlife+%28This+French+Life%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

or:   http://www.securiteroutiere.gouv.fr/la-securite-routiere/les-actualites/manuel-valls-annonce-le-report-sine-die-de-la-verbalisation-pour-defaut-d-ethylotest

This is probably because it has been almost impossible since early last year to find any shop which has them in stock.....   Pharmacies usually sell them for around 69 cents each but throughout France they have been sold out for months.

 
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It's also because it was generally considered to be a bad law, and either ignored or treated with disbelief by most French people.  Our English friend was laughed at by his French neighbours, when he told them that he'd bought his breathalyers, and he had to show them an article in an English magazine before they believed that the French had introduced such a law.

 
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Carrefour near me suddenly had large stocks of testers this week, up till then nothing. I thought when I saw them, "That law is going onto the scrap heap then". They need to dump the stock now the profit is disappearing.

 

 
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Hi everyone

I am trying to find out what the situation is now. From what I can make out the the implementation of a fine for non-compliance has been indefinitely delayed ("sine die") but the original law is still in place, which to me makes no sense, because if there is no fine, then is the there is a reason to carry them???  The decree (2012-284) has not been cancelled, but the fine has???

I have fired off a few e-mails to France, and will post any replies I receive.

 

 

 
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Hi again Happy

Below is the infomation received from the ACF (Automobile Club de France):

From the 1st July 2012 a new sanction was enforced, in France, obliging every driver to carry an unused breathalyser kit in their vehicles.

Drivers that fail to comply are liable to a 11 Euro fine.

The enforcement of this sanction was postponed until 1st November 2012 to allow time for drivers to equip themselves.

Furthermore, a decree was issued on the 29th October 2013 to further delay enforcement, possibly until 1st March 2013, due to a shortage in supply of breathalysers.   

A few days ago, Manuel Valls announced that the obligation was to be postponed indefinitely (sine die) awaiting the conclusions of the French National Counsel for Road Safety (Conseil national de la sécurité routière) expected in February.

For now the text obliging drivers to possess a breathalyser still appears in the ‘Code de la Route’ (highway code) and has not been revoked.

Currently the text is as follows:

Breathalyser obligatory: Yes / regulation: no, not before the 1st March 2013.

We are paying close attention to the Government’s decisions and to the repeal of the texts which will take place if the requirement for a breathalyser is eventually renounced.

We shall not fail to keep you informed.

So, the legal requirement to carry a breathalyzer is still in the highway code, but you cannot be fined for not carrying one. It is unlikely the fine is ever going to be implemented, but at the moment it IS still a legal requirement!

You have got to love the French Happy

 

 

 
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Hi again Happy

So, the legal requirement to carry a breathalyzer is still in the highway code, but you cannot be fined for not carrying one. It is unlikely the fine is ever going to be implemented, but at the moment it IS still a legal requirement!

You have got to love the French Happy

 

Hazel, are there any updates on this situation?  I read elsewhere that Vals was going to make another statement in February.....

 

 
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Just found the answer to my own question, on a French government website.  The strange translation is by Bing, but you'll get the drift...   What Hazel said previously is still the situation.

"The breath was made compulsory in all terrestrial motor vehicles by a decree published in the Official Journal on Thursday, March 1, 2012.

A new decree, published in the Official Journal Friday, March 1, 2013, maintains the requirement to possess a breathalyzer test but removes the penalty for possession of the breathalyzer failure: drivers must continue to have a breath in their vehicle, but in his absence they will not be punished.

This measure aims to develop a logic of self-regulation among drivers and encourage them to check their blood alcohol level at the time of the road. It is part of a comprehensive system of fight against drinking and driving (or riding) and complements the measure in force since December 1, 2011 generalizing the availability of means to test his blood alcohol level for the customers all open night and serving alcohol.

Since 2006, alcohol is the first infringement cause of road deaths. In 2011, more than 30% of fatalities on the road are in an accident where the alcohol factor is present, a rate that does not regress for more than ten years. If any alleged driver responsible had led with a positive alcohol levels, 1,150 lives could be spared (balance sheet ONISR 2011)"

Doesn't answer the question - if you haven't already got any should you still get some?   I'm inclined to if only to avoid confrontation with a stroppy Gendarme.

 
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