I copied this from the latest Lettre Service-Public dated yesterday 28 Feb - official government source.

Does anyone have a definitive answer as to whether it is obligatory to carry an Ethylotest in the car - or not!

Rétablissement des panneaux signalant les radars fixes et non obligation de détention d’un éthylotest

Publié le 26.02.2013 - Direction de l'information légale et administrative (Premier ministre)

À la suite des recommandations du Conseil national de la sécurité routière (CNSR), le ministre de l’intérieur a décidé jeudi 21 février 2013 :

  • de rétablir les panneaux signalant les radars fixes,

  • de ne pas imposer la possession d’éthylotest dans les véhicules.

Le rétablissement des panneaux signalant les radars fixes doit se mettre en place progressivement sur 2 ou 3 ans. Conformément à la décision du Comité interministériel de la sécurité routière (CISR) du 11 mai 2011, les panneaux indiquant la présence de radars fixes avaient en effet été retirés (décret publié au Journal officiel du 19 mai 2011).

Par ailleurs, le défaut de possession d’un éthylotest qui mesure l’alcoolémie des conducteurs devait être sanctionné par une amende de 11 euros à partir du 1er mars 2013. Un décret avait été publié en ce sens au Journal officiel du 30 octobre 2012.

Sometimes things are happens: at the R.D. 417 à Wintzenheim ( Alsace) . Looks like with this unclear decisions a few are getting confused ;-)

Dick, you are right it only mentions one ethylotest.

Listening to France Info on Friday I understood that the law stands, you have to have a Ethylotest in your car (or motorised 2 wheeled vehicle) BUT if you were found not to have one, there is no penalty. Lots of discussion about this being the first law introduced that has no punishment. I thought just paying an 11€ fine was silly.....

T o stop being hassled by the Men at Arms!

yes, but if there's no fine why bother...!

And I quote . . . .

Décret n° 2012-284 du 28 février 2012 relatif à la possession obligatoire d'un éthylotest par le conducteur d'un véhicule terrestre à moteur

NOR: IOCS1130720D

Publics concernés : conducteurs de véhicule terrestre à moteur.
Objet : obligation de détention d'un éthylotest pour tout conducteur de véhicule terrestre à moteur.
Entrée en vigueur : le texte entre en vigueur le 1er juillet 2012. Le défaut de possession d'un éthylotest sera sanctionné à partir du 1er novembre 2012.
Notice : le décret oblige tout conducteur d'un véhicule à posséder un éthylotest non usagé, disponible immédiatement. L'éthylotest doit satisfaire aux conditions de validité, notamment sa date de péremption, prévues par le fabricant. Le conducteur d'un véhicule équipé par un professionnel agréé ou par construction d'un dispositif d'antidémarrage par éthylotest électronique ainsi que le conducteur d'un autocar équipé d'un tel dispositif est réputé en règle.

Thanks Marie & Andrew. Was calling a friend whom I met first time as a member in UNPOL in Kosovo where the poor guy have had to check Albanians at the border-crossing in & out Macedonia / Kosovo. He is working now here again as Gendarme and he said this is even worse then the roles in UN-Missions... Well, I will now buy 3 or 4 of this units so we can all have together a nice blow and get used to "la droit liquide".

Marie-Antoinette - can you quote the law that says you have to have TWO testers in the vehicle. My understanding is that only ONE is needed - and that can be either the single-use version or an electronic device that can be used multiple times.

Theo, the proposed law that Dick Smith listed was not implemented as listed, instead the law as it is now is simpler you must have 2 ethylotests in your vehicle but if you don't have them there will be no fine.

M-A has said it - yes you have to have one but you won't be fined if you don't...! expected this would happen and didn't ever bother buying one ;-)

I'm I crazy?

If they write "de ne pas imposer la possession d’éthylotest dans les véhicules" but if you don't have "sanctionné par une amende de 11 euros à partir du 1er mars 2013", - reminds me a bit of what Obelix always says: "They are crazy, these Romans"...

A friend of mine was stopped recently and asked for a breath sample. Police round here stop you just for breathing on market day!

It is official, It was in the Journal Officiel of yesterday February 28, you must have the 2 ethylotests in your car, however if you do not have them you will not be fined, that is odd thing about it .


There was never a requirement for two to be carried. The only time you would need two is if you used one and then drove - but who is likely to use them? I can't see anyone using them. They will be put in the glove compartment and forgotten about.

They is another long discussion on this subject elswhere on this site Frances, it's introduction had little to do with road safety, more to make huge profits for a company on the brink of bankcrupcy, all tied up with influences and favours with Sarkosy and friends. If it had any real credability to save lifes they wouldn't be on the way out.

They had some at the chemist for 2 euros. I bought two (I was told by the chemist I had to have 2 in my car) but it wasn't yet compulsory. What a shambles. I have no confidence it's effective but I have them if it becomes law. I don't even drink.

Better to have random breath-testing or even better public education on why drink drivers are murderers and should be treated as such. We run such adds in NZ which must be one of the most binge-drinking countries in the world. No one minds having the truth in their faces their there so it's Ok to say no- i'm the driver so I'm not drinking, or to ask for your mate's keys if he's had a few. How effective is it? We are still binge-drinking - rugby, machismo and a lack of maturity in the society take a while to over-come. It's not just the teenagers either. Unfortunately when people like me get such a hard time for not drinking (even in France it happens) I know we've all got a long way to go.

I had read some time ago of the ethylotest predicted demise. I took it that article that the law would never be implemented.