Sunday, 1 July 2012

Breathalyser warning for French tourists

Drivers heading to France have sent sales of breathalyser kits soaring - as they seek to avoid falling foul of new motoring laws.

Halfords has sold double its annual sales target in just one week and is selling one kit every minute of the day. The leading car accessory retailer has rushed extra stock into stores to cope with the unprecedented demand.
The new legislation came into force on Sunday July 1st and will affect anyone intending to drive in France this summer.

Halfords last week launched a campaign to make drivers aware of the new laws as a survey revealed a worrying six out of ten (59%) Brits travelling to France, weren’t aware that they now had to carry two NF approved breathalysers at all times. Failure to do so results in an on the spot 11 Euro fine.

French Police have warned they will be carrying out random checks on drivers crossing into France via ferries and through the Channel Tunnel to enforce the new rules.

The Breathalyser is the latest in a long and growing list of items that drivers are legally required to carry when travelling abroad. The list includes high visibility jackets, warning triangles, spare bulb kits, headlight converters and GB stickers - all incur on the spot penalties if motorists are discovered to be without them.

The survey showed a widespread lack of knowledge of foreign driving laws. One in five (20%) drivers hadn't fitted headlamp convertors. Whilst over a quarter (26%) of motorists who wear glasses to drive, didn't have a spare pair with them, which is a legal requirement in Spain.

One in ten (9%) of us wrongly presume the alcohol limit for drivers in Europe will be higher than at home, when it’s actually considerably lower in France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

With a third of Britons saying they would allow a 17 year old to driver their car unaware that they’d be breaking the law because the legal age for driving in France is 18.

AlcoSense NF Single Use Breathalyser (Twin Pack) Retail Price: £5.99

Halfords’ Guide to Driving Abroad is a pocket size guide which provides handy hints on continental driving and guidelines to road rules in France, Germany, Spain and Italy. The free guides are available to download from

The French drink-driving limit is 50mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood, substantially less than the UK limit of 80mg. Motorists found with a level of between 50mg and 80mg of alcohol in their blood can be fined 135 euros (£112) and lose six out of 12 points on their driving licence. A driver who is over the limit in France also risks a

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