Motorists planning journeys into or through France this summer to ensure they check the expiry date of the breathalysers that they are carrying in order to remain on the right side of the law, advises Halfords.
Carrying an NF approved breathalyser (NF=French Standard, which is their equivalent of our British Standard) has been a mandatory legal requirement in France since 1 July 2012. Howe ver, many motorists are unaware that these disposable breathalysers have an expiry date.
Halfords product manager David Hammond explains: “With around a fifth of drink drive accidents happening the morning after, these handy devices will advise you whether you are safe to drive by showing you your blood alcohol level within 2 minutes.
“However, they contain active ingredients that mean their useful life is up to two years so drivers who first purchased them when the law was introduced in 2012 – and have not used or replaced them since – could find that they are near to or passed their use by date.”
All batches of the NF breathalysers have an expiry date printed on the base of the cardboard packet, as well as the NF logo, which makes checking that they comply with the law a simple task.
Halfords only recommends driving with 0% alcohol in your blood and these highly accurate NF units are potential lifesavers – measuring to 0.5% BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) they are the same type used by the French police.
David Hammond added: “Once you have confirmed that your breathalysers have not expired, or replaced them if they have, do bear in mind that the French Authorities recommended carrying two. That way if one is used the driver will still have a spare and both must be easily accessible in order to comply with the letter of the law.
“Whilst the French authorities have yet to introduce a financial penalty for failing to carry breathalysers, the law states that ‘non-compliance will not be sanctioned’ and it is generally accepted that by not carrying one motorists are inviting Gendarmes to take a closer at other areas of their vehicle.”
To order your NF breathalysers or find out what other essentials you need when travelling abroad visit www.halfords.com