A French farmers' union is furious that a new law on compulsory in-vehicle breathalyzer test kits includes tractors.
Coordination Rurale, the country’s second-biggest agricultural union, says the rule is absurd and stupid and has demanded that farm vehicles be exempted. “This legislation is totally unsuitable for farm tractors," it said in a press release. "The breathalyzers cannot be stored properly in tractors. What’s more, tractors use public highways only sporadically.”
The union also said renewing testing kits before their expiry date will involve unnecessary red tape for farmers. “Far from solving the problems of drunk driving, this simply creates a captive market for the producers of breathalyzer kits.”
Since July 1, every vehicle in France, except motorcycles under 50cc, has been required to carry a test kit, as reported by Wine-Searcher. The new law also applies to tourists, even those on day trips from neighboring countries.
Drivers found without a kit in their vehicle will receive an on-the-spot fine of €11 ($13.70). The Government has given motorists a four-month grace period until November to make the purchase, mainly because breathalyzers were found to be in short supply when the law was enacted.
Alcohol is the leading cause of road accidents in France, which claim the lives of about 4,000 people a year. The country's drink-drive limit is 50 milligrams of alcohol per milliliter of blood.