As seen on:

SMH Logo News Logo

Call 1300 303 181

Australia’s Best New Car News, Reviews and Buying Advice

In-Car Breathalyzers Now Compulsory – in France

The French have become the first nation in the World to compel ALL drivers to carry a breathalyzer in their cars from July 1st.

This rather draconian legislation has come about due to the high incidence of all road fatalities that involve drivers above the legal limit – a staggering 31 percent. 

As nearly one in three of all fatal accidents involve a drink driver, it’s no wonder that authorities need to take urgent action.

Complying breathalyzers include single use ones that can cost as little as $5.00. Whilst the task of getting drunk drivers off the road is commendable you have to question whether this is the way to do it. Critics claim that this is a toothless measure that will only work with responsible drivers and will have little effect on those who are a real problem. You can see their point when the average blood alcahol level in drivers involved in drink-related fatal accidents is 2.25gms per litre, or more than four-and-a-half times the legal limit! Let me repeat that…..the average blood alcahol level of all those fatal drink- related accidents was more than  four times the legal limit. That is an astonishing statistic which would certainly make many visitors wary of even venturing onto the French highways. So certainly something must be done. But is this the answer? 

What’s the point? Will it work? Does it make sense? Is it likely to be adopted by the autocrats in Oz?

Have your say below


  1. derek says:

    well if alcohol blood level is a problem i think it would make more sense to have the breathalyser attached to the ignition (such as some people here have as court orders to be allowed to drive) – it makes much more sense – if they have a high blood alchol reading then they can’t drive – no intoxicated driving

    March 15th, 2012 at 10:00 pm

  2. Graham Munro says:

    It should be mandatory on all cars to have a safety lock out mechanism, that requires the driver to be under the legal blood alcohol level before the car will start!

    Surely someone can write an App for a breathalyzer.

    March 16th, 2012 at 7:53 am

  3. Bek says:

    Hi Derek, a 10 yr old told me that his father has a breathalyzer conected to his car some how, and one night he had a friend blow into the machine so he could drive. Some times you can only do so much and then you have to be responsable for your own actions.

    March 16th, 2012 at 12:16 pm

  4. Russell Smith says:

    Have driven in France on a couple of trips. Didnt notice any drivers misbehaving on the roads either in towns or in the country. Even Paris traffic wasnt much of a problem, but clearly people do drink (to excess) & drive there, and one can buy & consume beer & wine at autoroute service areas which may contribute. How will business visitors & tourists comply with the new regs?

    March 19th, 2012 at 9:21 pm

  5. Richard says:

    Hi Russell, we have been told that all drivers, French or otherwise, must carry a breathalyzer. Single use units will be sold at ports and entry points, but they will only cost a few euros each.

    March 21st, 2012 at 11:22 am