French Law Requires Breathalyzer Kits In Cars

In France, a law just took effect that requires all drivers, including tourists, to buy a breathalyzer test to keep in their cars. Drunk driving is huge problem in France — causing more accidents per year than speeding. It was recently discovered that the head of the group that lobbied for the law also works for a company that makes the kits.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Our last word in business today is: brewing controversy.

In France, a law just took effect that requires all drivers, including tourists, to buy a breathalyzer test to keep in their cars.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Drunk driving is a huge problem in France - causing more accidents per year than speeding. Under the new law, people who've been drinking can test themselves before getting behind a wheel.

MONTAGNE: That safety effort came under scrutiny after it was discovered that the head of the road safety group that lobbied for the law also works for the main company that makes the breathalyzer kits.

WERTHEIMER: The company was in financial trouble before but suddenly, with the demand for breathalyzers, the company is expanding, recently hiring more than 100 employees.

MONTAGNE: When asked about his dual role, the lobbyist told radio network Europe 1, not only was he improving road safety, he was also helping to create jobs.

And that's the business news on MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

WERTHEIMER: And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

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