Driving in France really is getting to be a nightmare. There are an ever-growing number of laws regulating every aspect of a drivers time behind the wheel. The latest wild one? Every single motor vehicle, including motorcycles (although excluding mopeds) must carry a breathalyzer.
The French government announced on March 1st 2012 that from July 1st 2012 all drivers must conform to this new rule. It will be enforced starting November 1st 2012. If you get stopped on the spot and don’t carry a breathalyzer, expect an on the spot fine of €11, or about $15.
According to the official announcement, one unused certified breathalyzer carrying the French certification mark “NF” must be produced if stopped. That means that if it is used, you have to buy a new one every time. Even more annoying? It applies to cars and drivers even if they aren’t French.
The reason for such drastic legislation? 3,970 people lost their lives on the French road system in 2011, an improvement of only 22 less or .5% compared to 2010. After studies, the government has realized that drunk driving is responsible for 1 in 3 road fatalities, or 31%.