For car hire in France you may have heard the new regulations concerning the new law making it mandatory for all drivers to carry a breathalyzer. Safety is a key policy for the gendarmes and the government of France and their policies do have a record of success. From a macabre peak of 7,720 deaths in 2001, the yearly totals have continuously fallen to 3,994 in 2010 with the aim of this falling further.
The policies of more strict speed enforcement is a key factor of this decline in road deaths but experts believe the true reason behind it is the fall in the blood alcohol allowance to 50 mg per liter. Customs have had to change and alcohol with meals especially at lunch are generally moving on to a more general acceptance that alcohol in any quantity and driving is not an acceptable practice.
So from July 1st 2012 all dirvers within France must carry and accepted breathalyzer kit along with a red safety triangle, at least one reflective yellow vest, a first aid kit and a set of spare light bulbs.
The great news for automatic car hire France users is that all suppliers and brokers featured on our site assure us that all cars featured on our site will have all the equipment within the car as required by law. This includes a portable breathalyzer kit which if used may have a charge associated with it, this is in line with all other equipment found within the car and in line with normal car hire practices in France. This is merely to stop you keeping the device as maybe a present for a family or mate down the pub!
The fine for not having an approved NF breathalyzer kit is 11 Euros on the spot but this may increase after a settling in period for the new law. This may not sound a lot but the inconvenience of a telling off in French and the check of your car and your documents for other “problems” is something to avoid in itself.