The new plan will force every driver to have a breathalyzer kit in their cars so they can check their alcohol level before driving. A kit costs just €1.50 to €2 ($2 to $2.70). Anyone caught without a kit will face a €17 ($23) fine.
The President has made it a personal crusade to cut the number of road deaths in France. In 2007 he pledged to get the annual number of deaths below 3,000 in 2012, which now seems unlikely. The total fell just below 4,000 for the first time ever in 2010, with a total number of 3,994 deaths. The figure for 2011 is likely to be similar.
France has made huge gains in road safety over the last ten years, with the number of deaths being cut by half. France’s road safety association has reported that alcohol is the biggest factor in deaths on the road with 28.5 percent involving a car driven by someone with an excessive blood alcohol level.
Driving intoxicated is always going to be a fact of life. The overwhelming majority of people have done it, and if they say they haven’t they’re most likely lying. I’m certainly not saying it’s right, but their needs to be more solutions/alternatives (better public transport and reliable cab services for a start) to avoid people getting into their vehicles intoxicated. Though, this is probably a step in the right direction. I can, however, imagine it’s only a matter of time before the manufacturer of these things gets sued by some guy claiming that it gave him the all-clear to drive, before he shortly thereafter plowed his car into the Arc de Triomphe!