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Keys? Check. Breathalizer kit?

France is requiring motorists to carry them around in their vehicles


 
Keys? Check. Breathalizer kit?

Pascal Guyot/AFP/Getty Images

In a dramatic effort to combat drunk driving, France is set to become the first country in the world to require that motorists carry Breathalyzer kits in their vehicles. The measure is part of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s push to reduce France’s annual road death toll, which sat unmoved at over 4,000 in 2011. One third of those fatalities were alcohol-related, according to the government’s Sécurité Routière department, giving France one of the worst drunk driving records in Europe.

After a grace period expires in November, anyone caught without a Breathalyzer will be fined $15. France has recently stiffened fines for driving over the legal blood-alcohol limit of 0.05, and added even harsher penalties for blowing over 0.08—$6,000 in fines and potential prison sentences. The hope is that people will use the Breathalyzer to check their own level before hitting the road. Just a glass or two of Provençal rosé or a smooth Merlot could be enough to push most people over.


 

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