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.


Keys? Check. Breathalizer kit?

  1. You know why they have 4000 deaths from vehicle accidents? Cause the French can’t drive worth a damn!!!

  2. How much does this device cost?  More than $15?
    If you ask me the fine is not much of a deterrent.

  3. Glad to hear it’s only $15 and not 15 Euros and nice of the French to take US dollars ;)
    I have heard that the breathalyzer kits will only cost somewhere between .0.50 and 1.50 Euros. That’s somewhere around .75 US cents and $2 but we will just have to see if it does any good.