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French postpone fines for riders and drivers not carrying breathalyser

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Fines for drivers of all motor vehicles - including motorcyclists, - who are caught without a breathalyser kit, will be implemented in France from March 2013, according to the IAM. The fines were due to be enforced from 1 November 2012.   All drivers in France, including motorcyclists, are now required to carry a breathalyser kit and the €11 fine is will be applicable to all road users, except for those on mopeds. 

Single-use breathalyser kits will satisfy the requirement.  The legal limit in France is 50 mg per 100 ml of blood, lower than in the UK (the UK limit is 80mg). They cost between £1 and £2 and they will be available at ferry and tunnel terminals for crossings to France. It is intended that people will be able to test themselves to check whether or not they are over the French limit. 

Anyone driving in France is already required to carry a warning triangle and a fluorescent safety vest to use in an emergency. Additionally UK motorists and motorcyclists must display a GB plate. 

IAM director of policy and research Neil Greig said: “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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