The Journal Officiel de la République Française has published details of the new breathalyser rules, with drivers advised of the legislation from July until 1 November, 2012 following which fines will be handed out if drivers are not in possession of a kit.
All motorists will have to have a breathalyser, this includes motorcyclists, van drivers and travellers from outside France, with The Local website saying a fine of €11 will be charged to anyone not carrying the breathalyser.
Expect to see plenty of mention of the need for the equipment on travel routes across the Channel, as well as a likely increase in the presence of gendarmes over the summer period.
The alcohol breathalyser will have to conform to standard, expect to see that on the packaging, and also be valid to use as there is a 'best before' date on them.
And thanks to a reader of the site who highlighted the company, Contralco, a leading supplier of breathalyser kits to police forces, but also supermarkets and other distributors.
On the website you can learn a little more about the breathalysers, as well as information on drink driving levels in France; you are over the limit if your blood/alcohol level is equal to or exceeds 0.5 grams per litre (g/l).
The introduction of breathalyser kits in vehicles has been something promised by Nicolas Sarkozy for some time, and he will be hoping for a change in attitude towards drink driving and prompt an improvement in road safety in France.
Full text: Décret n° 2012-284 du 28 février 2012 relatif à la possession obligatoire d'un éthylotest par le conducteur d'un véhicule terrestre à moteur
Download Décret n° 2012-284 (.pdf)