Motorists breathe easy as France delays breathalyser fines
The French minister of the interior has backed down on his plans to introduce fines for motorists who fail to carry a breathalyser upon their person.
The U-turn has come about due to a lack of kits available, although carrying a self-test breathalyser remains a requirement - there is just no legislation to enforce a fine for non-compliance.
A fine of €11 (about £9.50) was to be introduced in March 2013, having already been delayed from November 2012.
All drivers in France, including motorcyclists, are required to carry a breathalyser kit, but the fine would not have been applicable to those on mopeds.
The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) suggests that visitors to France should also take a breathalyser kit with them.
Neil Greig, IAM director of policy and research, said: "The law for carrying breathalysers will no longer be enforced through fines, but in order to comply with the law we still recommend that you keep a breathalyser kit in the car whenever you're travelling to or through France."
But the breathalyser kit isn't the only thing Brits need to ensure they pack before venturing across the Channel. UK motorists and motorcyclists must display a GB plate, as well as carrying a warning triangle and fluorescent safety vest with them - a legal requirement in France.
Below is a checklist all British motorists must adhere to when driving through France:
Anyone driving in France is required to carry a warning triangle and a fluorescent safety vest to use in an emergency. If a motorist carries the luminous vest in their boot rather than the main section of the car they can still be fined.
British motorists must display a GB plate and have their headlights adjusted to the right.
Drivers are not obliged to carry a spare set of lights, but if one of their bulbs goes and they do not have a replacement ready they can be fined.
A fire extinguisher and first aid kit could also be required in the case of an emergency so not to fall foul of a law about assisting in the event of an accident.
The French introduced a new law last year that banned satellite navigation systems that show the location of speed cameras. Those caught can be fined €1,500 even if the device is not in use.