Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Two items of French motoring news: speed radar warnings and further delay on alcohol testers fines

Heavy traffic on the A28 autoroute 

The French Interior Ministry has recently decided to re-introduce the roadside panels warning motorists of fixed speed radar cameras. The Ministry has also delayed implementing fines (11€) for motorists who are not carrying the obligatory alcohol test kits. Under French law carrying at least two kits or an approved testing machine became obligatory from the beginning of July 2012 with fines to be imposed from the 1st November 2012. Fines were then pushed back to 1st March 2013 but have now be delayed with no starting date announced. 

'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 obligoire 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).

Despite the non-imposition of fines, drivers should still carry the required alcohol test kits. Drink driving laws (0.05% max – 50mg of alcohol per 100mls of blood) are strictly enforced as are those on excess speeding. Drivers, who are considerably over drink  or speeding limits, risk having their licences taken away on the spot. 

Although the legal limit in the UK is 0.08%, this level and above is viewed in France as an aggravated offence and can attract a license suspension for three years, 4500€ fine and up to two years in prison.  


Frank said...

50 g of alcohol per 100 mL of blood would pickle anyone. I presume you mean 50 milligrams. This would be a little more than 0.05% - by contrast, the limit in the US and UK is 0.08%.

Jim Budd said...

Frank. Quite correct. Thank you for pointing out my typo, which I have now corrected.

Luc Charlier said...

Just to give you an idea, it is a habit in most emergency rooms to recommand hemodialysis (= artificial kidney) on absorbing activated charcoal for any unknown citizen (= individual risk factors unknown) admitted with in excess of 4 gm of alcohol per liter of blood (0.4%), because there is a risk for severe brain damage or other insults (i.e. cardiac arrythmias, respiratory failure, acute liver toxicity, severe hypoglycaemia, hypothermia or life-threathening muscle decay = rhabdomyolysis). Above 6 gr/l, death is quite likely !
If you count down: one possesses roughly one liter of blood per 13 kg bodyweight. So, if you weigh 78 kg (about 12,3 stone) your circulating blood volume amounts to 6 liter. It means that total absorption of as little as 40 gr of alcohol in a very short time (empty stomach, cold drinks, possibly with carbonated liquids because all that speeds up absorption) can send you ad patres. We’re talkin “only” one liter of whisky at commercial strength, or just 3 classic 75 cl bottles of any Port you care to mention!
And epileptic fit is a possibility as you wake up as well, due to so-called “withdrawal”.
Cheers, folks!

Luc Charlier said...

Jim, rereading previous comment, I realize I gave the false impression that one litre of whisky only contains 40 gr of pure alcohol. This is of course not so, by a factor 10. What is meant is the ACUTE quantity that will pass to the blood in a very short time and this is a crude estimate, with a lot of interindividual variability. Of course, given time, our organism will absorb the whole dosis. But, at the same time, it will be slowly metabolized (through the lungs, for 10%, and through the liver), it will be diluted in the gut content, it will distribute in the tissues (cerebral, adipous ... ). I just meant that a bottle of whisky was all it takes to put you into really big troubles, not just drunk., and that a couple of bottles of fortified drinks and/or cordials will do the same. Before you reach the same result with ale or wine, the total volume of liquid you need to take will mitigate the process.

Jim Budd said...

Thanks for the advice Luc. Fortunately I'm not in the habit of consuming a bottle of whisky at a sitting! Jim