France delays introduction of breathalyzer kits

The French Government has delayed the full introduction of the controversial breath test law, which would have penalised drivers for not having an unused kit in their vehicle.  Interior Minister, Manuel Valis, has postponed indefinitely the start of €11 fines for not carrying the test equipment. 

Due to problems in the supply of the kits, and doubts about their effectiveness, the initial start date had been delayed from 1st November 2012 to the 1st March 2013. The breathalyzer kits were proving controversial because of their lack of availability both in France and the wider EU and their increasing cost.  It had also been established that no proper evaluation of the kits had been conducted and consumer group tests were casting doubts on their accuracy.

The Interior Minister will now wait until the Conseil National de la Securite (CNSR) had reported on what it sees as the best measures to cut drink driving, which is a major cause of road deaths in France, which in 2012 totalled 3645.

With thanks to BIFA for this article.