According to www.securite-routiere.gouv.fr (and many other sources) the law is still in force but there is no fine. So yes, you legally have to carry an unused alcohol testing kit but the fine for not carrying one (€11) has been suspended indefinitely.
I've never had a kit myself.
This apparently was so breathtakingly (so to speak) silly that it's become like one of the many unenforced laws which continue on the books, and just remain for the amusement they provide. Years ago there was a regular feature in the American Readers' Digest called "There ought to be a law" devoted to bizarre regulations--like, "In Wilmington, Delaware, it's illegal to put pants on a cat."
The position of the French government. The ethylotest onboard obligation was introduced March 1 2012, including a penalty of 11 euros. Exactly a year later they skipped this fine with a special decrét, so this wonderful piece of French legislation is still (a little bit) alive, but more than crippled.
What happened? The French government sometimes specialises in the art of drafting "un loi déclaratoire", showing your good will for a just cause. Implementation and other practicalities are less important. The small factory producing these tests could not deliver the vast amounts of tests needed. Officer, I tried twenty shops, but I couldn't buy one single ethylotest. Other problem: measurement reliability. You always hope when using a batch of ten for the same person to get the same readings. Most of them were off target (understatement). Et voila problem two. Where do you store them? In your car. Problem 3: ever opened your car at the end of a hot summer's afternoon? Temperatures of over 55 C inside or even higher. After two weeks of sunshine these ethylotest sets were absolutely useless. I've got two of them, in my glove box, bought them back in 2013. I don't have to bring them to a laboratory to know in what condition they are. But as a law obeying foreign citizen I leave them there and smile when noticing that they still are there, reminding me of the wisdom of politicians.
I saw a cockapoo today wearing two red polka dot hair bows - very fetching!
The top ten weirdest laws in Britain today
1. All beached whales and sturgeons must be offered to the Reigning Monarch
2. No person shall, in the course of a business, import into England, potatoes which he knows, or has reasonable cause to suspect, are from Poland
3. It is Illegal to be drunk in the pub
4. It is illegal to carry a plank along a pavement (as well as any ladder, wheel, pole, cask, placard, showboard, or hoop) in the Metropolitan Police District
5. MPs are not allowed to wear armour in Parliament
6. It is an offence to be drunk and in charge of cattle in England and Wales
7. It is illegal to handle a salmon in suspicious circumstances
8. It is an offence to beat or shake any carpet, rug, or mat (except door mats before 8am) in a thoroughfare in the Metropolitan Police District
9. It is illegal to jump the queue in the Tube ticket hall
10. It is illegal to activate your burglar alarm without first nominating a ‘Key-Holder’ who can switch it off in your absence.
Number 7 is my favourite!
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