France's New Law Requires All Drivers To Carry An Alcohol Detection Device

Written by DeShawn McQueen on Tuesday, 10 July 2012. Posted in Breaking News, Alcohol

france alcohol detection device law

Typically when I think of French dining or socializing I imagine at least one bottle of wine somewhere in the scene.

Apparently French government officials have been thinking similarly, as they have imposed a new law requiring all drivers on roads in France to carry an alcohol detection device in their vehicles. The law applies to French citizens and tourists alike.

In March of 2011 the government in France approved the mandate and it took effect little more than a year later on July 1, 2012. France is a pioneer as it is the very first country to mandate nationwide carrying of a handheld alcohol detection device in an effort to mitigate driving while under the influence as well as fatalities associated with drinking and driving.

French legislators reason that if drivers use the alcohol detection systems after drinking and before driving, drinking and driving would decline. According to a report by the Detroit News four thousand deaths occurred on the road in France during the year of 2011.

Although a single death is sad, last year’s four thousand is a far cry from the sixteen thousand reported annually by the French during the earlier years of the 1970s. Statistics show that approximately 1150 alcohol-related deaths occur annually in France.

Put another way, every year almost 30% of all road deaths in France are alcohol-related. If an individual is found driving without an alcohol detection device French law allow for him or her to be fined approximately fourteen dollars; this aspect of the law will take effect in November. During the last few years, France has been taking drinking and driving far more seriously.

In fact, legislators in France have imposed more harsh penalties for driving under the influence. Also, laws regarding driving and drinking have increased in strictness.

In addition to requiring that a driver carry an alcohol detection system, the driver must also carry a fire extinguisher, a first aid kit and spare light bulbs for headlights.

France’s decision has sparked what may become a global trend. Lobbyists in the United States are paying close attention to how successful this new law is in France as they are hoping for a similar law to be enacted in the United States.

However, the American Beverage Institute recently opposed a measure that would allocate five million dollars for researching the effectiveness of prospective nationwide vehicle alcohol detection system units.

In the end, Congress approved the funding, dubbing it the Alcohol Detection System for Safety program.

Additionally, Congress has allocated twenty million dollars in additional money to be dispersed by the Department of Transportation to states that pass laws that requiring mandatory ignition interlock devices as punishment for driving under the influence convictions.

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About the Author

DeShawn McQueen

DeShawn McQueen

DeShawn McQueen is a staff writer at Recovery Now Newspaper and, an informative newspaper that serves as a resource for persons of all stages of drug and alcohol treatment, by giving them access to relevant and necessary information so that they may live balanced and substance-free lifestyles. DeShawn graduated from Wayne State University with Bachelor of Science degrees in psychology and premedical sciences. He holds a Juris Doctors degree in law from Valparaiso University School of Law. DeShawn’s writing and research has been published in such academic journals as Behavioral Pharmacology and Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior among others. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

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