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British holidaymakers could face French motoring fines

British holidaymakers unaware of the new French motoring regulations have been warned that they could face fines.

From next month, it will be a legal requirement for Britons driving to and around France to carry an unused breathalyser in their vehicle. Officials at the French transport ministry have confirmed that the rules will apply to anyone driving on French roads, including foreign visitors to the country. Those who don’t carry a breathalyser will face fines of around €11, which is approximately £9.

“The summer holidays are nearly upon us, and with this new rule coming into force, we felt it vital to notify all motorists,” said Miranda Schunke, spokesperson for breakdown firm Green Flag. “Although the fines do not come into place until November, we'd strongly advise all motorists considering driving in France to invest in a breathalyser before departing overseas from July onwards.”

The single use breathalyser kit which is required under the new rule can be used to check the driver’s blood/alcohol levels. In France the legal limit is 50mg per litre of blood, significantly lower than the 80mg limit in the UK. As well as the breathalyser, anyone driving to France will need to carry a warning triangle and fluorescent safety vest. These should be carried inside the car at all times, and not in the car boot.

“While breathalysers are useful to ensure motorists are legally able to drive, people should not drive if they are planning to drink alcohol and need to be aware of the delayed effects including the morning after,” added Ms Schunke. “Drink driving remains a serious problem throughout the UK and Europe, and we always encourage people to be as safe as they possibly can while out on the roads.”

If you are planning to hire a car to drive in France, or anywhere else, it is a good idea to take out car hire insurance . This type of policy will cover the excess on the rental agreement, as well as a number of other things.

Date Created: 02 July 2012

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