Driving in France

I have been told that French police are requiring foreign drivers to have a portable breathalyzer in their rental cars!!? Can anyone confirm?

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8724 posts

requiring foreign drivers to have a portable breathalyzer in their rental cars That is not strictly true. The reality is that they require ALL drivers to have a portable breathalyzer in all cars

Posted by Bets
Bloomington
1963 posts

It's usually in the car when you pick it up, but you can buy one at any grocery for about 3 euros. A florescent safety vest and orange florescent triangle are also required in case of break downs. These too are in the car when you pick it up.

Posted by Robert
Portland
629 posts

From what I've seen, rental cars should all have a portable breathalyzer. And as someone pointed out, they're cheap and readily available in any event.

Posted by Frank
Los Angeles, CA, USA
171 posts

Rental car company will have to supply you with that. before you drive it out the lot, make sure they have the following: - portable breathalyzer. - indication of country origin it should have a sticker that says "F" in the back or on the license plate... that says "F" for France. - warning triangle.
- hi visible jacket. If you get pulled over and they ask you for any of the above which you do not have. You may be in trouble/fined.

Posted by Sharron
Howey in the Hills, Florida, USA
3 posts

Thank you all for the info. I'll be sure to check that we have everything noted in our rental car.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8724 posts

Note that the hi-vis vest has to be in the passenger compartment, not the boot/trunk. It is illegal in France to get out of a stopped car on a highway without first putting on the hi-vis.

Posted by Dina
Fontainebleau, France
893 posts

A few little pieces to clarify: When this first became law, a lot of grocery stores were carrying the tests. I don't think they re-ordered after they sold out, as I don't see them anymore. Pharmacies do still have the tests. A lot of them are sold in packs of 2. I've seen recommendations that you really should carry two with you. That way when you use one, you'll still have one left to be in compliance with the law. While you are only required to have one hi-res jacket or vest, anyone exiting the vehicle on the side of the highway must wear one. I carry 3 vests in my car.

Posted by Kim
Paris
537 posts

And in fact they have delayed implementing the enforcement of the law for a few months. (I.e. for now the law is on the books, but if you don't have the equipment you won't be written up.) Because of the problems with production and people having trouble getting the devices.