France breathalyzer law

This item appears on page 70 of the May 2012 issue.

In France, a new law which will begin to be enforced on Nov. 1, 2012, will require all cars, including rentals, to carry a breath-alcohol-testing instrument. If a driver does not have the device, he will be fined €17 (near $22).

Single-use devices each cost less than $2.50. Hertz will provide the devices for free, but Avis and Budget have not yet announced.

Alcohol limits are far more stringent in France (50mg per 100ml of blood) than in America (varying from 80mg to 100mg). The minimum penalty for driving in France with a blood alcohol level over the legal limit is a fine of €135 ($180); over 80mg, penalties skyrocket.