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Before taking your car abroad it's always a good idea to make sure your vehicle is in good working order and any faulty car parts replaced.

But now, those heading to France will also need to make sure they remember to take their own breathalyser kit with them following the introduction of new rules by the French government.

From July 1st, it will become a legal requirement for all drivers in the country to have a breathalyser kit kept in their cars.

There will be an initial grace period before a penalty of an 11 euro fine is introduced from November onwards.

Although the penalty may not sound like much, failure to comply will also mean local police are likely to carry out their own breath test on the offending driver, which some people believe could lead to a surge in drink driving penalties.

A disposal breathalyser kit can be bought for around £2, with it recommended that drivers carry at least two with them so that they have a test in reserve should they need to use one.

Motorists should also be aware that the legal drink drive limit in France is 50 mg per 100 ml of blood, lower than in the UK where the limit is 80mg.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists is urging Brits driving to France to take the new rules seriously.

Neil Greig, the organisation's director of policy and research, said the measure is "a genuine attempt to reduce the number of alcohol-related accidents".

"France's lower limit means it's very easy to be over the limit the morning after as well," he commented, adding that the best advice for motorists is not to drink and drive at all.

When driving on the other side of the Channel, motorists are also required to carry a warning triangle and fluorescent safety vest in their car.

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