A new law in France requires drivers to carry a breathalyzer kit in their car at all times, lest they be fined on the spot.
It is an aggressive effort to curtail drunk driving in the country, though the law’s passage has come under harsh criticism and media scrutiny due to allegations that the manufacturers of the device got it on the books due to strong lobbying, notes NY Daily.
Specifically, each driver is meant to carry two breathalyzer kits in their vehicles at all times. The idea is that drivers who have recently imbibed will sit down in their cars after a night out, breathalyze themselves, and then make a rational decision as to whether or not they will attempt to drive themselves home. Sound ridiculous? I thought so too.
However, some 4,000 people are killed in the streets of France every year, with drunk-driving being the major killer, even more so than speeding, notes the BBC. The government hopes that the new law will save at least 500 lives annually.
Unfortunately, the fine for ignoring the law is actually quite low – about $14 according to Newser. But it does apply to everyone, including tourists (after November 1st) so if you’re headed that way and plan on driving, you might want to pick up a few of these breathalyzer kits lest you be subjected to a random check set in place to enforce the law.
If I were you, I’d just avoid driving altogether. I hear they put steering wheels on the wrong side of the car.
Whether or not the law will prove effective, it will create a huge profit surplus for the manufacturers of the breathalyzer tests. Two required per car by law? Lots of money to be made in breathalyzer tests right now. Of course, there’s the criticism that the law was only passed due to extensive lobbying, but what are you going to do?
What do you think of the required breathalyzer test law in France? Do we need something similar in America?