Wednesday, 30 January 2013

French breathalyser test fines for motorcyclists postponed - again

Well the much vaunted French Breathalyser law which was due to be implemented at various ever-changing dates throughout last year and then in March this year has now, it would seem, been put on hold again.

In a nutshell the proposed law said that motorists - motorcyclists and car drivers - had to carry two unused breathalyser kits in their vehicle at all times ready to test themselves if they were stopped by police and would be fined if they were stopped and were not carrying breathalysers. If you haven't heard about this proposed law before and you want the full back story then you can look back to our earlier stories about it - the links are at the bottom of this page.

And then, and then...

Off to Dover to catch the ferry
As it stands at the moment the interior minister Manuel Valls has postponed the imposition of fines for people not carrying the test kits 'indefinitely'.  Fines were due to come in in November last year, and then March this year 2013.  Apparently the fines have been put on hold again due to difficulty with supply of the kits and doubts about the effectiveness of the breathalyser kits.

The French Conseil National de la Securite Routiere (CNSR) is currently compiling a report on what is sees as the best way to cut drink driving in France, and Monsieur Valls is now saying that he will wait until the results of this report come out before he takes any further steps towards implementing the Brealthalyser law.  The preliminary findings of the report are due out in mid February.

Accident rates fall

This news comes at the same time as the announcement that there has been a  14% drop in the number of motorcyclists killed on French roads in 2012.

Although the French roads minister says that he aims to cut the road death figures in half by 2020, he still wants to hold fire on fines for not carrying the breathalyser kits.

This may be partly due to :

  • Difficulty of supply, there are not many available to buy, so the few that are about have become very expensive.
  • Their efficacy has also been questioned as they have been found to be unreliable in consumer tests.
  • There have also been some complaints from environmentalists about the fact that the components of the breathalysers are damaging to the environment.


And breathe out...

All in all it is looking as though this law will not be coming in - in its full fine-able form - in the foreseeable future.  So although you are still currently legally required to carry breathalysers, you will not be fined if you are stopped and have not got one on your motorcycle.


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