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France backs down on breathalyser fine

France has shelved plans to fine motorists who fail to carry a breathalyser in their car due to a shortage of breath-testing kits.

alcohol-breath-test kit
Single use breath-testing kits can be bought for less than £10 but there’s a shortage of the kits in France since the threat of a fine was proposed

The penalty, which was due for introduction next month, would have meant an €11 (£9.50) fine for those without a breathalyser – with the equipment costing from £6 for single use kits to £60 for pocket electronic devices.

Despite ditching plans to fine motorists, carrying a self-test breathalyser is still a requirement for motorists in France, as well as a warning triangle and fluorescent safety vest.

For those caught with blood/alcohol levels above 50mg per 100ml, a typical penalty in France is a €135 (£116) fine plus penalty points.

Those with levels above the current UK limit of 80mg per 100ml, can face fines up to €4,500 (£3,900) and two years imprisonment.

See below for current drink-drive limits around Europe (mg per 100 ml of blood):

UK: 80mg

France: 50mg

Germany: 50mg

Ireland: 50mg

Belgium: 50mg

Netherlands: 50mg

Poland: 20mg

Norway: 20mg

Sweden: 20mg

Czech Republic: 0mg

Russia: 0mg

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