Portugal Challenges French Breathalyser Driving Requirements
July 20, 2012 at 1:39 PM
A European Member of Parliament from Portugal, Regina Bastos, is making a challenge to the new driving requirement that states that all motorists have to carry two unused disposable breathalysers in the vehicle with them at all times.
Even visitors to France like the millions of UK people who drive in France each summer now have to carry them. Regina Bastos has raised a question about it in the European parliament in an attempt to get the new driving law revoked by the EU commission.
Along with the Hi visibility vest, warning triangle, headlamp converters, spare bulbs and GB sticker on your car they now insist that you have a disposable breathalyser kit in the car with you while driving in France.
Her argument is, as this law is not enforced throughout the whole of Europe it is therefore illegal for just one country to enforce it. God help us if everyone in the UK has to get one of these. We are struggling to get enough supplies just for people who are travelling to France on holiday this summer, without 30 million UK drivers needing them as well.
Regina said "For the French government to force the owners of vehicles that are registered there to have the alcohol-measuring equipment is one thing. It is another thing to impose that mandatory on any driver of any vehicle circulating on French territory".
There is a precedent for this as not so long ago Spain wanted everyone to carry 2 warning triangles in the car not just one as it is in other European countries. Although it is still the law for Spanish registered vehicles to have 2, visitors to Spain still only have to carry one.
It will be interesting to see how this progresses when it gets to the EU parliament. At the moment this new breathalyser rule has heightened awareness to all the driving in France regulations considerably. With the BBC, ITV and Sky news channels all running lead news stories on this issue on July 1st (the day the breathalyser law started) and every UK newspaper covering the story.
Awareness of all the French driving regulations is now much higher as in previous years over half the people who drove to France never took anything with them. Now not only are we selling loads of breathalysers (as you’d expect) but the number of other items has increased this year by 50% also.
Demand has been so high for them that it really has caught us by surprise. Even though the French police will not start issuing on the spot fines until November all people going to France this summer are panic buying the damn things.
I've seen people on a well known auction website selling just one for £20. Our "twin pack" is less than half that price, so what on earth people are doing paying that much I really cannot imagine. Especially when the fine is only 11 euros.
With this in mind here at drivinginfrance.org we have decided to add a pack of breathalysers to our “Full Euro Travel Kit” at no extra charge. At least that way everyone that gets a kit from us will have some breathalysers even if they were not aware of the new rules.
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