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Breath testers mandatory in all vehicles from Spring?


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I'm gob smacked it has taken till today for this to appear in English language press. The law was scrapped or paused, whatever you want to call it weeks and weeks ago. It was in the French language newspapers anyway which is where I read it and it was a few weeks at least before Christmas.
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Well, Quillan, either someone was ahead of the game or the Government was a bit behind.

According to the news, Manuel Vails announced it yesterday (24/1)


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All I can say is the Gendarmes even before it was supposed to come in to law said it was not workable and they wouldn't be checking for them in cars.

You have never been able to buy them round here either from supermarkets, garages or car part shops (the ones like Halfords in the UK). It is not for the want of trying to get hold of them either on my part and the last time I tried I was told that they were no longer required and didn't I bother to read the newspapers and that was a few weeks before Christmas.

I have been through two controls at night here and nobody has asked to see them.

Perhaps the UK is not the only country where things are leaked to the press long before they happen.

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Well, Brittany Ferries must be desperate to unload their unsold stock. [:D]

I had a cheery note today telling me to be sure to enjoy the crossing I have booked for next week.

Under "Essential Information" it says:


From the 1st March 2013 it will be compulsory to carry breathalysers in your vehicle when driving in France. They are now available on-board our vessels from £5.99 for a twin pack."


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Actually, Jonz, I'd have done the same as Erns.

A German friend (thorough person that she is) claims that she has read that the contents are very toxic if the packets are left to get warm such as in the glove compartment on a hot summer's day.

I don't know what volume of liquid is needed before the toxicity kicks in but, hey, you learn not to argue with some people![:D]

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So apart from  ................

  • them not working if left in the car
  • them not working anyway 
  • they're toxic (according to someone German - proof enough)
  • non availability
  • non buy-in from the public at large
  • apathy from the authorities, i.e. Gendarmerie

.................. it was a good bit of legislation.


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I'm not defending the wretched things in way whatsoever however reports of DIY breathalysers being toxic are completely disingenuous and amount to nothing more than scare mongering.

Yes, the chemical contained in them, potassium dicromate, is potentially acutely and chronically harmful to health but under normal circumstances the user will never actually come into contact with it and as such it is no more intrinsically hazardous than some of the chemicals contained in the very car you are driving as well as a whole host of everyday products we are all surrounded by 24/7 !


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  • 4 weeks later...
Sorry to resurrect this thread, but I heard on "autoroute info" two days ago that the CNSR (the body to which the decision on whether to enforce the law mandating possession of a breathalyser was referred) has recommended:

1) That carrying a breathalyser in a car should be mandatory

 2) That failure to produce one if requested during a controle should not be punishable by a fine.

The same body has also recommended that the signs warning of fixed radar sites should be put back in place.

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