Patt Morrison for August 27, 2012

French breathalyzer law provokes anti-lobbying protests

An employee of French Contralco company

PASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images

An employee of French Contralco company and world number one poses with a single-use Contralco alcohol breath tester, on December 8, 2011 in Gignac, southwestern France. With the new France's road security measures, which require to own an alcohol test in each car, the Contralco alcohol breath test, which is a fully certified and patented product, should reach 62 million units per year.

The citizens of France may be up in arms over being ordered to carry breathalyzers in their cars, but not for the reasons you think.

After learning that the majority of drunk drivers who survive accidents claim ignorance about being over the country’s drinking limit of .05% blood-alcohol content, the French government now requires drivers to carry personal breathalyzers or be fined 11 Euros. While some complain the law itself is idiotic, the biggest concern is its passage, which may have involved the reviled practice of...lobbying. Apparently, Daniel Orgeval, the man responsible for convincing Parliament to pass the law, is part--time employee at Contralco, which is the only company in France that manufactures certified breathalyzers.

WEIGH IN:

What do you think of these news laws in France? Could they ever be passed here in America?

Guest:

Devorah Lauter, special correspondent to the LA Times, based in Paris


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