herald

Friday 15 December 2017

Drive with breath test or face fine on holiday

Irish holidaymakers will have to carry breathalysers in their cars at all times while travelling in France from July.

Failure to do so and a breach of French drink-driving laws could lead to penalties of up to €4,500, a loss of driving licence and a prison term.

Tourists are already legally obliged to have a warning triangle and a fluorescent safety vest with them while in France.

The new regulation on breathalysers by the French Government has been welcomed by Irish Ferries as a positive measure that will help reduce road accidents and make travelling in France even safer for Irish holidaymakers.

The company has confirmed that the breathalysers will go on sale on board their Ireland/ France cruise ferry, Oscar Wilde, in April.

They will be sold in double packs so the driver still has a test left if they use one -- but the price has not yet been determined.

Irish Ferries already sells fluorescent jackets at €9 and warning triangles at €13.

Under the new French laws, drivers caught without a kit will face a fine of €11, but there will be a period of grace until November before French police start issuing the penalties.

Motorists are being advised to carry at least two of the breathalyser kits so that if they have checked themselves with one they can still show police they have a ready-to-use kit if stopped.

French police, however, will use their own breathalysers to carry out any roadside test.

The French drink-driving limit is 50mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood , similar to Ireland.

Any motorist in France found with between 50mg and 80mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood can be fined €135 and lose six out of 12 points on their driving licence.

hnews@herald.ie

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