Sale of breathalysers in off-licenses
Order on the procedures for the sale of devices for testing alcohol consumption in off-licenses in accordance with Article L3341-4 of the Public Health Code
In accordance with Article L3341-4 of the Public Health Code, the draft Order specifies the procedures for the application of the legislative obligation to sell breathalysers in off-licenses.
Article 1 defines the scope of the measure.
- With regard to delimiting the concept of off-licenses, the draft text provides that all licensed establishments subject to a license for consumption off the premises are subject to the obligation, which includes in particular online sites selling alcoholic beverages. On the other hand, temporary licensed establishments or establishments holding a license for consumption on the premises or a restaurant license, that could sell alcoholic beverages to be consumed off the premises, are not affected by this obligation.
Regarding the devices offered for sale, the draft lays down that they are chemical breathalysers (lower in cost and easy to use), but electronic breathalysers may be offered for sale in a complimentary manner.
The breathalysers offered for sale must be able to test the breath alcohol concentration levels provided for in Article R234-1 of the Highway Code (i.e. both the blood alcohol content under ordinary law and the blood alcohol content applying to drivers on probationary licenses).
Article 2 determines the number of breathalysers to be offered for sale and specifies their location within the establishment.
- The draft Order requires licensed establishments to have a minimum stock of 10 or 25 breathalysers depending on the shelf space dedicated to alcoholic beverage displays. This minimum threshold may be reached by a combination of chemical and electronic breathalysers. It creates only a reasonable constraint with regard to the cost associated with 10 or 25 breathalysers; this makes it possible to facilitate checks by guaranteeing the consumer a permanent offer for the sale for these devices.
- Breathalysers must absolutely be offered for sale in the vicinity of the display with the largest volume of alcoholic beverages (or near the place of payment for establishments whose activity is limited to the sale of alcohol).
Article 3 includes several provisions ensuring the visibility of breathalysers within licensed establishments.
- The draft Order provides for an obligation to indicate, by means of a dedicated information sign, the interest of self-testing as a preventative measure. This sign must be affixed near the display with the largest volume of alcoholic beverages (or near the place of payment for establishments whose activity is limited to the sale of alcoholic beverages). By the same logic, it is proposed that the information sign be integrated into the payment page of sites selling alcoholic beverages online.
- If breathalysers are not offered for sale in the vicinity of each display offering alcohol (for example because alcoholic drinks are displayed as part of a promotion or a thematic activity elsewhere than in the alcohol section), an additional visible and legible display at the place concerned must indicate the location of the breathalysers for sale within the establishment.
Article 4 provides for the Order’s entry into force on 1 July 2021.
- Although the legislative obligation to sell breathalysers entered into force on 24 June of this year, it will only be applicable once the Order defining the procedures for the sale of breathalysers in off-licenses has been published and has entered into force. In any case, the entry into force will be deferred from the publication of the text in order to leave sufficient time for the stakeholders in the sector to anticipate the implementation of the measure.