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Driving in France

Obligation to carry breathalysers

Since 1. July 2012, it is an obligation in France to carry a breathalyser within the car.

The Austrian organisation ÖAMTC informs consumers who travel to France about important new regulations. Every car and motorcycle driver has to carry an unused breathalyser on his vehicle. In case of a police control, the driver has to show the test to the police officers. Excluded are drivers of mopeds up to 50 ccm.


The test has to apply to the French norm (with the abbreviation "NF"). It can be

  • a test for single use with a chemical basis as well as
  • an electronic breathalyser.

A test for single use consists of a pipe and a plastic bag. After breathing into the pipe, it shows if the person is still capable of driving. They must not be past their expiration date.

Tourists in France

Tourists, who drive their vehicle in France, are also obliged to carry a breathalyser.

Possible penalties

If the driver does not have an unused breathalyser, he has to pay a fee of 11 Euro.

Where to get the breathalyser

In France, every supermarket, pharmacy and gas station has the test for single use (they cost between 1,50 and 5 Euro). A maximum blood alcohol concentration level of 0.5 pro mille is allowed in France.

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