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French breathalyser penalties postponed

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A new law which states that a motorist driving in France must carry a breathalyser kit with them has been postponed until March 2013.

The law was first introduced in July 2012 with fines due to be issued after November 1st 2012. This now has been postponed until March 2013 according to Motoring Safety Group IAM.

It is not yet known why the date of issuing penalties for those who are caught not carrying a breathalyser has been postponed.

Once the penalties come into force next year motorists who are found to have between 50mg and 80mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood will be fined 135 Euros (£112) and six points will be added to their licence. Anything higher than 50mg will result in a fine reaching 4,500 Euros (£3,744), losing their licence and are at risk of being sent to prison for up to two years.

Breathalyser kits only cost between £1 and £2 and can be purchased before travelling across to France. Frequent travellers to France will have already purchased their own kit but it will give motorists who haven’t yet purchased their breathalyser more time to purchase a kit now the date has been postponed. However if drivers are caught without a kit a fine of 11 Euros (£9) will be issued.

The new law is hoped to bring down the amount of motorists that are caught over the limit which will also limit the number of accidents that occur.

IAM director of policy and research Neil Greig commented on the news: “The new French rule is a genuine attempt to reduce the number of alcohol-related accidents.

“France’s lower limit means it’s very easy to be over the limit the morning after as well. As always, the best advice for road users is not to drink and drive at all.”

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By Amanda Bainbridge