As announced in February, legislation has been passed requiring every vehicle travelling on French roads to be in possession of an NF Approved Breath Tester by 1 November 2012.

There was an immediate stampede for the single use kits (the cheapest option) – not helped by some spectacularly uninformed and antagonistic British Press articles – but now, as the dust settles slightly, people may want to look at the various options.

You can do the single test route – of course – but there is also the digital option.  If you are actually looking to use the test kit on a regular basis as a means to establish whether or not you should drive, then the digital devices become a viable option – and at least they give you a readout as opposed to a colour chart!

We have 3 digital devices we can supply that are NF approved (and unlike the crystal-based kits, not affected by extremes of temperature – something which is of relevance if you intend on leaving it in your vehicle…)

The low cost option would be the ABI – costing the equivalent of about 28 single kits – say, 2 tests a month over the course of a year.  With a user life of about 3 years, it is a cheap but effective way to comply with the legislation, AND have a device that you can use time & again.

The Ethylec is the next level up – a very smart fuel cell device, supplied by Contralco who also manufacture the single use kits.  The equivalent cost would be about 63 single use kits – if you plan to test yourself just once or occasionally twice a week, then in just 12 months you would have spent the same on the throwaway kits.  With a user life of about 4 years, there is no cheaper NF approved fuel cell device available.

Top of the range is the Draeger 3000 NF.  It is essentially the same piece of kit as used by the Police – but the software is tailored for personal use.  If you want true Police-grade accuracy and a 7 year + life span, then this is the kit for you.  Unaffected by temperature extremes, accurate to within 1.8% – it is THE most accurate and reliable personal user device available – and at an equivalent cost of about 130 single use kits, even if you only have it for a year and test yourself just 3 times a week – you’ve already made up the cost.

For full details see our website at



  1. Trevor 27th May 2013 Reply

    As far as I am aware, the need to carry a breathalyser kit in France has been shelved? Perhaps you could confirm whether I am correct or not?

    • Suzannah 6th September 2013 Reply

      At the moment we have been advised that the proposal is that the requirement to carry a kit will be incorporated into a complete ‘Travel Pack’ – if any components of the travel pack are missing you would be then be subject to a bigger fine. As it stands though, the statute to hold an NF Approved Breathalyser kit still remains in place – with enforcement seemingly sporadic in different regions.

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