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Stricter drink-driving regulations in France

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
There is already a difference in the blood alcohol limits between France and the UK (50mg per 100ml in France, 80mg in the UK?), now the French are lowering the limit even further as part of new measures to reduce accident levels. It won't have been made law for the coming season, but it will be brought in for September 2005.

20 mg per 100ml - For most people, 1 unit will raise the blood alcohol level by 20mg per 100ml, so any more than 1 unit will take you over the legal limit.

a bottle of wine (12% ABV) contains 9 units
a large glass of wine (0.25L at 12% ABV) contains 3 units
a pint of bitter (3.5%) contains 1.89 units
a half litre of lager (5.2%) contains 2.6 units
a measure of gin (0.025L at 40% ABV) contains 1 unit
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
For a country of confirmed boozers (I think I am right in thinking the French drink more than the Brits) it is interesting the push towards essentially no drinking if driving. One drink and you're over the limit (most standard drinks are 2 units of more), but if we suggest presecution for 10 mph over the speed limit there is an outcry. Funny old world.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I knew it would happen sooner or later - the Moûtiers tunnel trap caught me out a couple of weeks back - the first half is uphill, then you really have to be concentrating in the downhill part where the camera is located, or your speed creeps up without your noticing. I was snapped at 87kph, averaged down to 83kph I think, ie 2mph over the 50 mph limit - for which I have received a penalty point and a 90€ fine. Evil or Very Mad
I carefully drove the first part at 79kph, then started thinking about something else... bound to happen eventually, after going through it at least 100 times since the camera was put in.
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PG wrote:
now the French are lowering the limit even further as part of new measures to reduce accident levels. It won't have been made law for the coming season, but it will be brought in for September 2005.


Why am I doubtful that it will have any noticeable affect on accident levels in France? Here's a long article on the subject which, without quoting a source, includes the statement

Quote:
Effective enforcement requires unrestricted powers for high visibility breath testing using breathalyser equipment of an agreed technical European standard.

The introduction of unrestricted breath testing is known to result in more than a 20 per cent reduction in fatal crashes.
Just lowering the allowable blood alcohol level without random testing might not be enough to produce a result. It seems when unrestricted breath testing is used in Australia the alcohol-related accidents drop by 36% and fatalities by 22%.
Impressive figures.

Bad luck on your fine PG
<< edit - forgot the link to the article >>


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Sun 11-07-04 16:15; edited 1 time in total
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kuwait_ian, I don't know about the UK, but random breath testing has been around for some time in France. I've been stopped a couple of times at checkpoints. Mid/late Sunday afternoon is one of their favourite times for random checks.

The notoriously disobedient French have been drving noticeably more slowly recently. Now all they need to do is learn to use their indicators, and tailgate less!
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PG, How much is a gallopin panache worth? (Not sure about the spelling)
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There are three instances where a driver can be breath-tested in the UK:

- having committed a moving traffic offence (anything from running a red to speeding to dangerous driving);

- been involved in an accident in which someone has been injured;

- where the police officer has reasonable grounds to suspect that the driver has consumed alcohol.

No random breath-testing as yet but considerable room for manoeuvre already, I'm sure you will agree.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
easiski, O.65 of a unit ?!? Don't hold me to that, I've just got back (on foot) from a long and tasty meal at the Hostellerie du Petit Bernard, with ise, (opposite that Italian place you and I went to), accompanied by a very nice Pinot Noir.... and we're supposed to be up early tomorrow for the drive up to Tignes....

Forecast for tomorrow is pretty grim though....
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PG, The average guy clears a unit of alcohol an hour. You, of course, not average guy, and probably do better than that, so you should have been OK today. But sensible of you to be concerned about The Day After. The time of day for getting the most over-the-limit results are during the morning drive to work time. A beer, a bottle of wine, a couple of large brandies (not an unusual combination) and you are over the limit until lunchtime the next day.
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easiski wrote:
PG, How much is a gallopin panache worth? (Not sure about the spelling)


Is that the right spelling and do you say that down your way ? I thought it was a Swiss measure ?
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a 'gallopin' (20cl) I thought was French originally - there is or was a brasserie by that name in Paris.....
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I'd never heard the term before coming to Switzerland, in fact, I have to say for a while I though it was a brand rather than a measurement Embarassed
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Apparently if you call in at the www.brasseriegallopin.com you can order a 'gallopin', served in a traditional silver tankard as in the 19th century (bet you pay for the privilege though!)
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Isn't 20cl a euphemism for a dirty glass ?
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
kuwait_ian, Very Happy ... Monsieur Gallopin didn't need to make special tankards, a silver thimble would have sufficed!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
PG, from the link you gave
Quote:
The famous tankards (gallopin or 1/2 pint) still have pride of place on the sheives and they are still in use today.
Has it gained something in translation ?

I stole the joke - it was originally used by drouthy Scotsmen comparing their standard pub optic measure of 1/4 gill with the English 1/6 th. Some time back .......

On topic - that long article indicates this is a step towards European harmonisation so it's only a question of time before UK goes the same way.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I noticed that - the French have always had trouble with Imperial measures!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Please keep the imperial measures!!! Never had troubles with that!
I always like a Pint of beer better than an half a litre!!!
Seriosly speaking, it happens in Italy too, periodically the call for strictier rules is raised, and generally after a strong media campaign the law passed.
Only to discover that the previous law was already contemplating a low enough alcohool level in the blood (as an example).
I'd say that we need to change the people way of thinking, not to have strictier rules every year or so, and to have enough policemen to enforece the existing laws.
As an example, this year the new set of roa rules calls for the compulsory wearing of a bright orance or yellow jacket when stopped on the motorway and out of the car, but the same law foresee to compel everyone to have it on board of the car!
Furthermore it's so unclear (the law) that people is wearing the jacket as soon as they climb out of the car be the sun shining or not....
Another example, a Swiss will never break the speed limit in Switzerland, where he's 100% sure to be caught, but the same Swiss will drive well above the speed limit in Italy, where he is reasonably sure not to be caught. I've seen this to happen often enough. This, in turn, calls for reasoning to which society is more "civilized", one where people "behave" for fear of the punishment or one where people "behave" because it's been educated the correct way (and again, we need to define what is "the correct way")?
The difference is that someone educated in a certain way will alwayas behave regardless of the certitude of a punishment (or surveillance).
Don't you concour?
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Matteo wrote:
Please keep the imperial measures!!! Never had troubles with that!
I always like a Pint of beer better than an half a litre!!!
If the glass is full it's bigger than a 1/2 lt.

I've enjoyed a 'Formidable' or two in Serre Chevalier - about 1 litre glasses. Great in a crowded bar - fewer trips to top up - but hard work on the drinking arm !!!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
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kuwait_ian wrote:

If the glass is full it's bigger than a 1/2 lt.

I've enjoyed a 'Formidable' or two in Serre Chevalier - about 1 litre glasses. Great in a crowded bar - fewer trips to top up - but hard work on the drinking arm !!!



That's one of the reasons I like a Pint more than 1/2 lt. Tee hee.
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