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France: Electronic Alcohol Tests Mandatory?

  Posted at 01:31:13 PM
  File under  France Safety
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Normandy, France

France usually has a bonus month during May. There are several public holidays during the month, and often, when one falls on a Thursday, everyone and his dog takes Friday off, thereby having a 4 day weekend. But once in a while, the bank holiday of the 8th falls on a Thursday, and the bank holiday of the 12th on a Monday, giving France Inc. a 5 day weekend. And that is when the roads are at its deadliest.

The last time there was a 5 day weekend was in 2002, and 15 people died, including 2 motorcycle riders. One of the largest contributing factors was booze.

This year was no exception. The latest body-count was 19 (4 of them bikers) for the Saturday and Sunday alone. After the deadly weekend in 2002, the government showed this safety ad.

French safety ad 2002
After 2 drinks, the risk exists

Alcohol test
This year, the political supremos have decided to become more pro-active. A law has been submitted to make electronic alcohol testing devices mandatory in every establishment that serves alcohol after 2 in the morning (i.e.restaurants, bars, hotels and discos).

So far, the government does not want to make the usage of the devices mandatory (ie, you'll get your keys after you blow in one of these devices), but they are hoping that peer pressure and the establishment's management will see to it that driver test their alcohol level before starting their engines.

Every day, on average 13 people die on the French roads. Of those 13, 3 are intoxicated and 3 were driving too fast (and 1 because of drug use and 1 because the driver fell asleep). (source Open link in a new window)

Of course alcohol testing devices are nice, but in the past when these devices were installed by the establishment owners, the youngsters were holding contests who could have the highest alcohol level, so why would it change?

The problem is if the road fatalities doesn't go down dramatically, the government will most probably take drastic measures, the way they did it for speeding, and then everyone is going to have problems...

Via: MBI Member: Le Blog Moto

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