If you wish to add a comment to any of my articles please do so as I am always pleased to have a contribution from any reader as this increases the interest for other visitors.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

New rule from July 1 requires drivers abroad to carry a breathalyser

From July 1 2012 anyone driving in France is required to have an unused breathalyser, conforming to French standards, with them in the car. Breathalyser kits cost around £2 each, but the fine for not having one will set people back €11. As the new law requires there to be one unused unit in the car it makes sense to carry two, so that if one is used there is still the obligatory one legal unit, as they are not too expensive.

Whilst the law is effective from the beginning of July it would seem that the fixed penalty fine for failing to have a breathalyser will not start to be levied until November. Having just driven through France, on my trip from Spain to the UK, I have to admit I didn't have the required unit, apparently along with 90% of those visitors intending to drive in France. But I will have two in the car on my return journey, even though this will be before November.

 Read more: New rule from July 1 requires drivers abroad to carry a breathalyser


  1. Apart from the yellow vest and this new "breathalyser",and triangles, one also has to have a "fire-extinquiser" on board!!!
    This new "breathalyser" , I think is a big joke, because if you are really coming out of a french-pub totally or partly "pissed", would you then really use this breathtest???...I don't think that you would, as you just want to get home , or to the next pub!!!!..I always knew the French were a joke, but this new law really tops it....hick, hick, hick,hich.....:)

  2. I also had to remember to deactivate the 'Safety Camera' warning facility on my satnav as the use of this aid is now illegal in France. Not that I needed to be reminded of the location of speed cameras!

  3. Question Elliot,

    Where can one buy these "breathalyser", here in Spain???


    1. I don't know with any certainty but I would think that the service stations on the Spanish/French border such as Irun and La Jonquera will sell them. Perhaps any larger motor accessories outlets close to the border. It is not a problem here in the UK to get them from outlets like Halfords. £5.99 for a box of two.


Please be courteous and add your name rather than 'Anonymous' to your comment, as it may not be published. In the 'Comment as' box above use the drop-down menu and select 'Name/URL'. In the 'Edit profile' pop-up enter your name and press continue. There will be a period of delay before your comment appears on the article until I receive the automatic notification that you have made one and can authorised its publication.

Any comment that includes vulgar language, racist remarks or anything of that nature will either be edited or not published at my discretion.