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France mandates that drivers carry Breathalyzer-like test kits

Mon, 02 Jul 2012

As Orson Welles reminds us above, French champagne has always been celebrated for its excellence. And fermented grape products are as indelible a signifier of Gallic culture as fine cheese, very fast trains and the hydropneumatic suspension.

But the enjoyment of a tipple involves responsibility, something that alcohol consumption isn't always conducive to. As such, the French government has mandated that drivers now carry two disposable blood-alcohol test kits—often called Breathalyzers—in their automobiles.

What's more, it's not just French drivers who need to carry the devices—possession is compulsory for any motorist crossing into the country.

Some are up in arms, claiming that the requirement was pushed through via heavy lobbying by the device manufacturers. Others hail it as a victory for road safety. Frankly, the idea does have merit, and it's certainly less intrusive than ignition interlocks.

Irresponsible people will most always flout the rules of decorum and safety. But for those who want to know whether they're a few sips over the line and make plans accordingly, having a breath-test kit at the ready takes the sketchiness out of the equation.

Thoughts? Offer 'em up in the Comments section.

By Davey G. Johnson