Breathalyzer law and minimum wage changes come into force in France

AFP/Fred Tanneau

On 1 July, France will see several laws or amendments go into effect. Starting today, the minimum wage jumps up two percent and breathalyzer tests will become mandatory in all vehicles.


Breathalyzer tests
In an attempt to cut back on the number of alcohol-related traffic accidents, each driver will from now on be required to keep a breathalyzer test in his or her vehicle. Those caught without the test, which cost between 1 and 3 euros a piece, can expect to pay a fine of 11 euros as of 1 November.

According to an Ifop poll published in Dimanche Ouest France, only 39 percent of French drivers owned the test as of Saturday, just one day before the law came into effect.

The limit in France for drink-driving is 50mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood.

Minimum wage
The minimum wage will move up by two percent, with inflation from 1 January accounting for 1.4 percent of that figure and 0.6 percent making up the government’s added “bonus.”

The increase will bring monthly salaries up to 9,40 euros per hour, putting 21,40 euros in workers’ pockets each month, after taxes.

Turning out the lights
In a measure to bring down electricity consumption, neon lights and illuminated advertisements will be forced off during the wee hours of the night. From 1 to 6 o’clock in the morning, even the town Christmas tree will have to go dark overnight.

The measure could cut CO2 emissions by 120,000 tons.

The Ministry of Sustainable Development hopes to include office buildings and storefronts, who leave their lights on all night, in the law in the coming year.

Foreign calls
Phone calls outside France will get cheaper, after European deputies decided on 1 May to put a cap on fees. This means that when calling from a French cell phone from other European countries, costs will go down from 35 cents to 29 cents per minute, with text messages costing nine cents.

Gas prices to increase
Gas bills are set to go up for French households, as the end of a price ceiling leftover from former Prime Minister François Fillon ends. Estimates put the increase at around 5 percent.


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