A new law that comes into force in July 2012 will require any car travelling on French roads to have a breathalyzer kit within the car. If you are planning a trip to France, whether driving your own car from the UK or elsewhere in Europe, or renting a car in France
and do not have a breathalyzer in the car you will face an 11 Euro on the spot fine should you be stopped by the Gendarmerie (French police). Whilst the law comes into effect as of 1st July 2012, it will not be enforced until 1 November 2012 to allow a transition period. During this time, warnings will be issued by the police should you be stopped without one.
Our customers can rest assured that all of our rentals will come pre-fitted with the disposable breathalyzer kit and also the other legally required equipment such as warning triangle and high visibility jacket. Should you use the kit, customers are encouraged to replace before returning the car to avoid being charged. Kits are widely available from most petrol and service stations for only a few Euro's. Kits can be purchased in the UK or in France, however must be in the car at all times and must be an NF Approved Breathalyzer Kit to be acceptable to the police.
The new law is aimed at further reducing incidents of drink driving in France where the alcohol limits are already lower than that of the UK. There are of course limitations of the kits as it can take up to an hour for the alcohol consumed to make its way into the bloodstream, so you could pass the test shortly after a drink only to be over the limit an hour later. It is recommended not to drink at all if planning on driving, particularly as you may not be familiar with the roads or car. If you have had a few to drink the night before, you should use the test before driving in the morning as due to the lower drink drive limit in France, it is not uncommon to fail the test in the morning.
For more information on driving rules in France, please visit our Drive Smart Guide to France
. Whether you are renting a car in Paris, Nice or taking advantage of the great deals on car hire Bordeaux Airport
has to offer, make sure you have a breathalyzer in the car at all times.