The government is planning to make the installation of public breathalysers compulsory in bars and night clubs by the summer. The announcement came after at least 17 people died in car crashes last weekend, mostly in drink-related accidents.
Breathalyser tests for people leaving bars and cafes across France could be mandatory from this summer under a plan to be put Monday before President Nicolas Sarkozy's cabinet, Ecology Minister Jean-Louis Borloo said Sunday.
The move -- revealed by Borloo on France 2 television -- follows a particularly deadly Pentacostal holiday weekend on French roads, with at least 17 fatalities in seven accidents reported, some of them alcohol-related.
"I can tell you that tomorrow, at the council of ministers, Health Minister Roselyne Bachelot and I will present a decree to make electronic breathalyser tests obligatory in drinking establishments open until 2:00 am, so that everyone can check their level, their condition upon leaving," he said.
"I hope that by this summer, it will be obligatory in all such places," he said, adding that the idea has already been trialled at 350 cafes and bars in the west of France.
In the weekend's deadliest accident, four people aged 15 through 26 were killed Saturday when the car they were in went off the road near Forbach, in the east of France.
Police said the driver, 36, who survived, had been drinking.
Date created : 2008-05-12