69 2 mins 9 yrs

Having spend the past few weeks in France (the part that doesn’t vote for Monsieur Hollande) I was interested in this item;

A new law has come into force in France making it compulsory for drivers to carry two breathalyser kits in their vehicles or risk an on-the-spot fine. It is the latest move by the government aimed at bringing down the number of road deaths caused by alcohol. All motorists must also have with them a high-visibility safety vest and a warning triangle. Foreign drivers are included in the new rule, however there is a grace period until November. Some 4,000 people are killed on French roads every year, with drink-driving being cited as the main factor in accidents ahead even of speeding.

Having sat in a  number of French bars in recent times (!)one of the things that struck me as unusual was the number of local French people who clearly were drinking several classes of alcohol and they got in their car and drove off! In one case, I saw two women sitting drinking wine, they were joined by some Police Officers – they had a laugh – and they then drove off in their car! Remarkable.

I came to the conclusion that based on what I saw the issue of drink/driving is NOT such a big issue for local people in the south of France.  I don’t really think the Police enforce it. Those of us who live in countries where the notion of even taking a sip of alcohol is considered a virtual crime may want to reflect why the French take a rather different attitude. Hollande, a true Nanny Stater, seeks to change the way the French behave – I suspect he has his work cut out for him.

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69 thoughts on “DRINK AND DRIVE

  1. David,
    before departing on holiday 7th June, I checked with our Peugeot breakdown cover people to see if we need inform them that we were going to be driving through France for two weeks.
    The wally we spoke to referred to this new law (applicable from today I believe).
    He urged us to get the kits now in case. I declined.
    He also went on about how strict the police were now around Calais and Dunquerke towards British motorists.
    All squit. I have a wheelbarrowfull of spare bulbs, hi viz jackets warning triangles and fire extinguishers all with France in mind.
    This is scaremongering and retail opportunism of the worst kind. The French themselves ignore many of the rules made by the EU.
    Only the UK acts like a reincarnated Nazi Germany, and insists that “Rules must be obeyed, wizzout kvestion, on pain of death.”

  2. Just eat loads of raw garlic and if you get stopped, they won’t be long leaving you alone…

  3. LU
    The French are a decent enough people. When you see the sheer size of the country it’s no wonder they couldn’t hold their borders against the Germans in both world wars.
    It’s easy to forget how fortunate we are to be an island nation, and if it hadn’t been for the English Channel we would have been under the Nazi jackboot too.
    Let’s not kid ourselves.

  4. Agit8ted,

    I think you are forgetting a wee spot in Europe which is also part of the UK?

    ‘We’ are not an island nation, and no, we would not have been under the jackboot of the Germans, as we would have fought back, unlike the cheese eating surrender monkeys.

  5. This regulation doesn’t make sense, and smacks of wild overreach

    Has Bloomberg moved to France?

  6. LU
    I was talking generally and inclusively.
    There is no greater admirer of the Channel Islanders than my good self..

  7. The Channel Islands were occupied by the Nazis. Doesn’t that mean that some British territories succumbed to the Nazi onslaught?

  8. lol channel islanders?

    back then we were a two island nation.

    Didn’t you know?

  9. Paul, they were not and are not part of the UK, although they are part of Britain, bizarrely…

    As Crown Dependencies the islands are not part of the United Kingdom or European Union, nor are they colonies or overseas territories of the United Kingdom like Gibraltar. They are possessions of the British Crown with independent administrations. Their assemblies pass their own legislation with the assent of the Crown granted in the Privy Council.

    The Crown is responsible for defence, diplomatic representation and citizenship, although the islands maintain their own controls over housing and employment that apply to British as well as other citizens.

    The islands have the right to establish direct relations with foreign governments. Although not parts of the European Union, they are in a customs union with it.

  10. That’s the point I was trying to make LU.

    I suspected that you were talking about the state of N.I. which is officially part of the UK. The U.K. isn’t officially a nation and, ironically, as Crown Dependencies the Channel Islands are offically British territories. It therefore could be argued, (albeit technically), that British territories fell to the Nazi invasion.

  11. Paul,

    the UK is a nation, in my humble opinion, but I am aware of the argument against the definition.
    It comes down to a nation being defined as a country, (or countries) sharing the same government and culture.

    I suppose the latter could be argued in the case of say, Scotland eating haggis etc, and England having morris dancers!

  12. definition from the oxford dictionary : http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/nation
    ”large body of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular state or territory”

    or in another search came up with; A distinct group or race of people that share history, traditions and culture.

    I think the UK would fit.

    ?

  13. Both definitions could equally be applied to Ireland LU but as I’m beginning to enjoy this civility so maybe we should just agree to disagree and stick to the subject content of the thread?

  14. Paul,
    Yes, you are right

    “The Channel Islands were occupied by the Nazis. Doesn’t that mean that some British territories succumbed to the Nazi onslaught?”

    But the MAIN point I was trying to make -and ignoring LU’s spanners, is that it oftentimes we scorn the French for giving in, but it is a huge area to defend, and I can understand the French capitulating, whereas Great Britain was protected by the sea from mainland Europe.

  15. just thought it interesting…was looking at a few searches to differentiate between what consitutes a nation, and a state.

    I cannot find a definitive answer, even the UN site is ambiguous.

    As for the thread, only a matter of time before the nanny UK forces those driving buses, taxis etc to have one of those kits.

  16. Agi,

    granted the channel was useful geographic defence, but I still maintain (albeit hypothetically) that the British would have put up more resistance.

  17. How will moral TTs feel about having to have such devises in their car?

    I don’t see why anyone who doesn’t drink should have to have one in their car. I think the only feasible way to police such a thing is that if you get done for drinking and driving, you get double done for not having the kit.

  18. Paul,
    Huzzah!
    We agree yet again!
    A triumph of Anglo-(N)Irish concord and mutual respect!

    (Although I must admit, I am struggling with all this new found politeness and bonhomme… 😉 )

  19. Aileen, interesting…

    Perhaps driving a bus or taxi would be a more acceptable introduction for the kits?

  20. Although I must admit, I am struggling with all this new found politeness and bonhomme

    I’m sure that you’ll go back to your old ways given time Agi . . . 😉

  21. LU,
    “granted the channel was useful geographic defence, but I still maintain (albeit hypothetically) that the British would have put up more resistance.”

    We are now on the wrong thread, but anyway, we might have and we might not.
    It’s all down to leadership, and unless you have the men with the ability to lead and inspire, the rest of us remain rudderless.

  22. ‘It’s all down to leadership, and unless you have the men with the ability to lead and inspire, the rest of us remain rudderless’

    I agree to an extent, but I disagree that it’s all Ddown to leadership.

    The men below you, under your command are every bit as important.

  23. LU,
    If it comes to that then, McMahons and I would get on just fine in the trenches together.
    We respect each other.
    I could even cope with Colm; although I would ensure a healthy distance between us..

    In a way ATWers are quite representative of the personality types that would have been found in a WW1 trench, and our common humanity, intelligence and humour would win through in the end.

    I dunno about you though. Probably end up with a trench to yourself.. 🙂

  24. As an ex soldier, I don’t know if I would even want any of you in my trench, so there!

  25. Now you know you don’t mean that!
    Sit up and chew your bully beef sarnie like a good boy..

  26. Just posted a comment, without any links, which is awaiting moderation.
    ????

  27. You probably wrote something impolite or not good natured…
    Serves you right.

  28. yeah Paul. Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah!

    Imagine writing something not good natured, I for example would nver do such a terrible thing.

    lol

  29. unlike others I left the sidelines to help defend all of my fellow citizens.

  30. LU
    You misunderstand me I think.
    What do clockwork soldiers need in order to work?

  31. lol sorry, got it now…

    paul will take it in the spirit it was meant I hope.

  32. Paul,
    welcome back. What happened to your comment?
    It was nothing to do with you. LU immediately went on the (self)defensive when I referred to him as the “original clockwork soldier”.
    Interesting, and I’m still not sure he really “got it”
    Eh, LU?

  33. Agi, got it, I thought originally you were insulting me.

    No worries.

  34. LU,
    Ah!
    You thought I meant

    “Chocolate Soldier!”

    No, if my memory serves me correctly you have spoken a bit about your army experience.
    I am tempted to ask the obvious question that if you can be pleasant and reasonable with two others, why not all?
    but I don’t think hearing the answer would be helpful, so please don’t respond to that one!

  35. Chocolate soldier? – ‘Is it because me is black?’

    I can be reasonable with anyone, but when I am abused with foul language and faced with a barrage of comments from people who openly support terrorists, then I do get a bit miffed, and enjoy seeing their position being exposed for what it is.

    Simple as that.

  36. LU
    “Chocolate soldier? – ‘Is it because me is black?’”

    Chocolate soldiers fall into the same category as chocolate fire guards and chocolate teapots -unfit for purpose.

    So when I as an Englishman say (re Majestic Quandary) that at some point we have to move on; to recognise that innocents on all sides have died, and people on all sides have been coerced/bullied into fighting for “the cause”, you too think an act of Christian forgiveness by our Queen is wrong?
    See, if I had been born into one of these hotbeds of paramilitary activity, I don’t know if I would have had the balls to stand up and say,
    “No, I refuse to get involved. I refuse to be involved in killing either soldiers who are only doing their job, or civilians going about their lawful business.”

    Fortunately for me I was born in England well away from this stuff. So I have to try and understand/respect what everyone is saying, whilst also believing that for everyone’s sake we have to move on. The men of violence will have to answer for their actions just as I will have to answer for mine.

  37. I did have the balls (and others too) to say I am not getting involved, and instead I decided to defend EVERYONE from terrorists from whatever quarter.

    That is the difference.

    Nobody was forced into illegal and criminal activity, it was their own choice.

  38. Agi#

    “to recognise that innocents on all sides have died”

    What possible relevance is it which of your “sides” the innocents were?

    “No, I refuse to get involved. I refuse to be involved in killing either soldiers who are only doing their job, or civilians going about their lawful business.”
    I doubt it but supposing you are right, why should your lack of basic humanity and presiposition to evil, allow you a free go at murdering?

    Like many people, murdering others was never an option for me. It is lucky for some inncocent people still living now that I would not have been prepared to excuse turning to terrorism as others seem to do.

  39. “The men of violence will have to answer for their actions just as I will have to answer for mine.”

    No all to many of them won’t. I don’t quite know why you think that any answering in the next life is of ANY relevance or comfort.

  40. “I doubt it but supposing you are right, why should your lack of basic humanity and presiposition to evil, allow you a free go at murdering?”

    People who chose to commit murder are (IMV anyway)in a different category to those who were “persuaded” or intimidated into being involved. You and LU may have the moral courage to stand up for what you believe, but many haven’t. Do we then write them off?

    We might say that the people who volunteered to fight in two world wars were superior to those who were conscripted.
    The fact is that there are all kinds of people in a society, the weak, the strong, the pathetic and the cunning.
    LU fought for what he believed in, and I respect that. But I still say that reconciliation is the only way to a better future.

  41. Agi

    “You and LU may have the moral courage to stand up for what you believe, but many haven’t. Do we then write them off?”

    No we absolutely don’t write them off OR write off their crimes!!!!!

    JUSTICE is the building block of any better future!

    Writing off crime is the way to a worse!

  42. There is the other issue then Agit. What of those who felt that joining paramilitaries was the right thing to do? What if by joining a paramilitary organisation they were showing the moral courage to stand up for what they believed in?

  43. Would some of you like a permanent standing post where you can rake over the same thing every day?

  44. Back on topic …

    This a classic bureaucratic rule, completely detached from reality and incentives. If someone is going to drink and drive then they’ll ignore a bootfull of breathalysers.

    Even so, British drivers would be daft to ignore it. A gendarme loves nothing better than parking up next to an autoroute just outside Calais, waiting for a British plate to go by at 2 kph above the speed limit. They’ll have you for that and any items you should have (high-viz jacket, bulbs, fuses etc).

    If they don’t start sacking these bureaucrats soon the back end of our motors will soon look like Halfords.

  45. yeah Paul. Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah!

    Taken in the spirit it was meant LU. No worries

    Aileen, you have stated previously that you find it dstasteful debating with me. A position I respect absolutely. I’d like to engage you on some of the ponts that you raise above regarding victims, however I also fully understand that horriffic things were done to your family by an organisation that some family members of mine were involved with.

    If you don’t wish to engage then I understand and respect your opinion.

  46. “Would some of you like a permanent standing post where you can rake over the same thing every day?”

    Sorry Pete. It was off topic anyway and remains a contentious issue.

  47. “There is the other issue then Agit. What of those who felt that joining paramilitaries was the right thing to do? What if by joining a paramilitary organisation they were showing the moral courage to stand up for what they believed in?”

    True young Seamus,
    ang generally I have a lot of time for people who act on their convictions instead of mouthing off about their “ideals”.
    However…
    to subscribe to a cause that asks you to plant a bomb where innocents will die, or to shoot a soldier in the back, or lure a man to his death..
    All I can say is it must be like venturing into a spider’s web. Once your in, you’re trapped.
    LU says he came off the sidelines to protect everyone’s freedom. Hat tip LU.
    In a settled structured society there is always an appeal to the rest of society for help and guidance . When you join a clandestine organisation within that democratic society there is no easy way out.

  48. Unless someone is trying to tie in the Irish rebellion of 1798 (The year of the French) I don’t see what a lot of the above has to do with the French drinking and driving regulations.

    Is a compulsroy breathalyser a bad thing in a car? I suspect it would cut down on drunk driving, which I suppose most would agree would be a good thing. The costs seem pretty minimal.

  49. Oooops!
    Quite right Mahons.
    I just saw Seamus’s comments and responded to it.
    My wrong.

  50. It is just the endless expansion of regimented nonsense, the one additional thing that they can fine you for.

    This is endlessly expanding Bloomberg nannyism with a surrender monkey accent.

  51. Nannyism implies curbing something whose impact is rather slight, a childish trangression such as speaking wit hfood in one’s mouth or not sharing toys.

    4000 deaths due mostly to drunk driving strikes me as an adult transgression with dramtic consequences that requires adult laws.

  52. Surrender monkey is a magnificent compound noun. Does anyone know it’s origins?

  53. The US changed the culture of having a drunk driver being seen as a bon vivant to where he is now universally seen as a selfish creep who endangers the lives of all.

    The kind of person who has a few drinks and then drives home will not be dissuaded by a bag in the glove compartment.

    The US change was driven by stricter enforcement and the promotion, largely by brewers, of the Designated Driver concept. I would steer the French in that direction.

  54. Paul – Like all great creations of the modern age it came from The Simpsons. The full original phrase was “Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys” uttered by Groundskeeper Willie who had been forced to teach French to the children of Sprinffield.

  55. Not trying to go off topic, just replying to Agit.

    “to subscribe to a cause that asks you to plant a bomb where innocents will die, or to shoot a soldier in the back, or lure a man to his death..”

    What about firebombing a city? I’m pretty sure I saw on the news the Queen unviel a memorial to people who did that. The fact is that in a conflict many people do things they wouldn’t do in any reasonable situation.

    “LU says he came off the sidelines to protect everyone’s freedom. Hat tip LU.
    In a settled structured society there is always an appeal to the rest of society for help and guidance . When you join a clandestine organisation within that democratic society there is no easy way out.”

    I wouldn’t tip your hat that quickly. The Security Forces were regularly part of the problem and not trying to protect everyone’s freedom. They picked sides pretty damn quickly.

    Additionaly there wasn’t an ability to appeal to the rest of society. The rest of society didn’t give a shit. There was no avenue to complain to the State when the State had just murdered a member of your family. There was no avenue to complain to the State when the State was denying you basic human rights.

  56. Seamus,
    Paul McMahon alluded to your last paragraph, but I don’t want to abuse this thread any more, so pick another one and I’ll (try)and respond.

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