A motoring association is planning to hand out 100,000 breathalyzer kits over the upcoming holiday weekend, as France prepares for a new law requiring every car to carry the alcohol test.

"/> A motoring association is planning to hand out 100,000 breathalyzer kits over the upcoming holiday weekend, as France prepares for a new law requiring every car to carry the alcohol test.

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Free breathalyzers to be given to motorists

A motoring association is planning to hand out 100,000 breathalyzer kits over the upcoming holiday weekend, as France prepares for a new law requiring every car to carry the alcohol test.

Free breathalyzers to be given to motorists
Geraint Rowland

From July 1st, every car travelling in France will be required to carry a breathalyser kit.

To help promote the new rules the organisation ’40 millions d’automobolistes’ and the motorway operator Vinci have joined forces for a publicity campaign.

Radio station Europe 1 reports that the promotion is also designed to help save lives over the busy Ascension weekend.

“This is a weekend when there are lots of deadly accidents,” said Louis Derboulle, the organisation’s president. “We want to save 1,000 lives.”

“Our aim is to educate and to prevent. French people need to understand that you cannot drive with an alcohol blood level of 0.5 grammes.”

Drink driving is believed to be responsible for one in three road deaths in France.

France’s death rate on the roads has proved hard to reduce in the last two years. 

In 2011, 3,970 people died on the road, a drop of just 22 on the year before.

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French national park bans alcohol over the summer months

A French national park has banned alcohol over the summer months after a spate of accidents.

French national park bans alcohol over the summer months
The gorges of the Ardèche are known as the 'French grand canyon' Photo: AFP

The gorges of the Ardèche region – a national park in southern France very popular with hikers, campers and canoeists – has banned alcohol from the campsites and the river until September 30th.

“Hikers and boaters are prohibited from keeping alcoholic beverages for consumption in the bivouacs of Gaud and Gournier [the only areas where camping in the gorges is permitted] and on the river domain,” said the order issued by the Préfect of the Ardèche.


The area is very popular for canoeing. Photo: AFP

The temporary order began on May 1st and runs until September 30th.

The ban is intended to “put an end to the many accidents caused by drunkenness”, the préfecture told FranceInfo, which also specifies that regular checks will be carried out and that non-compliance with this order will be subject to sanctions.

Over previous summer seasons fighting, dangerous behaviour and drunken accidents have become a problem for police and park warders in the area.

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