• France's news in English

Swerving pensioner beats drink drive records

Matthew Warren · 17 Aug 2011, 07:50

Published: 17 Aug 2011 09:53 GMT+02:00
Updated: 17 Aug 2011 07:50 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

A 65-year-old woman who police stopped after her erratic driving caused concern was found to have a blood alcohol level of 5.76 grams per litre.

This made her more than 10 times over the legal limit in France of 0.5 grams.

Her level of intoxication was a record for the Auvergne region where she was caught.

"Alerted by the zigzags she was making in her vehicle on the road, the police intervened although they didn't ask her to take an alcohol test" reported local newspaper La Montagne.

It was at the hospital in nearby Aurillac that the woman's blood alcohol level was found to be the highest ever recorded in the area.

It is estimated that three small glasses of wine would be enough for a 75-kilogram man to pass the 0.5 grams limit. It is not known what the woman had drunk.

The record for drunk driving in France was set in 2005 when a man in Polliat, in the east of the country, was found with a blood alcohol level of 9.75 grams.

Although public drunkenness is relatively rare in France, the country has a less than stellar record when it comes to drink driving. 

A 2009 report commissioned by the European Commission found that the French were the most likely of all Europeans, with the exception of Cyprus, to drive after drinking even a small amount of alcohol. 

47 percent of the French people questioned said they would never drive after drinking. This compared with 66 percent of Germans, 75 percent of those in the UK and 90 percent of Swedes.

France’s road safety association, Association Prévention Routière, reports that alcohol is the biggest factor in deaths on the road with 28.5 percent of deaths involving a car driven by someone with an excessive blood alcohol level.

A crackdown on drink driving and other road safety measures has helped to cut the number of deaths on the road by half over the last ten years.


Matthew Warren (news.france@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

UK border must move back, says 'next French president'
Photo: AFP

If favourite Alain Juppé is elected, Britain and France are in for some difficult negotiations.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available