French champagne is well known for its excellence and distinctive taste. It also symbolizes Gallic culture together with fine cheese, fast trains, and hydropneumatic suspension. However, alcohol consumption isn’t always conducive of including “responsibility” in its vocabulary.
According to road safety authorities, “alcohol has been the main cause of mortality on roads since 2006.” About third of fatalities on French roads are caused by drunk driving. This is a rate higher than the 17 percent recorded in Britain and 10 percent in Germany.
That’s why in an attempt to reduce alcohol-driven accidents, the French government has mandated drivers to carry two disposable breathalyzers in their car. This ordinance is not just limited to French drivers; it is also compulsory to any motorist that will cross the country.
The new ordinance will take into action starting November 1. Those who will fail to comply will be fined €11 or around $14.
Mixed Public Reception
Although the government’s move can be hailed as a victory for road safety, some are up in arms. People claim that obliging them to carry breathalyzers are a result of manufacturers lobbying the government.
Hamou Louachiche, 38, also shared his split opinion about the ordinance: “I find it absurd to be booked for that. But that’s the law, so I’ll be subject to it.” He also admitted that he doesn’t have a test in his car yet, although he believes that such tests would be applicable in bars and nightclubs. Regardless, the new French ordinance also received praises from other people, saying that it would reduce drunk driving.
The idea doesn’t have merit, and it’s less intrusive than ignition interlocks. Built in 1987, an ignition-interlock breathalyzer has incorporated the pass/fail technology. This device is said to represent an answer to the social problem of drunk driving.
It is installed in the vehicle’s dashboard, and it would oblige the driver to exhale on the device first before starting the engine. If the breath-alcohol concentration analysis failed, it will prevent the vehicle to start.
An irresponsible citizen will most likely flout the rules of decorum and safety. However, people who want to know whether they are a few sips over the line will make plans accordingly and bring breath-test kits at ready. This won’t just lessen the alcohol-related incidents on the road; it would also make people conscious of their alcohol limits.
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