Page last updated at 05:41 GMT, Monday, 12 May 2008 06:41 UK

France may breathalyse clubbers

A man is breathalysed by a policeman (generic image)
Alcohol is a major cause of fatal road accidents in France

France's cabinet is to hear a proposal to make breathalysers mandatory at late-night clubs and cafes from this summer when it meets on Monday.

The ecology and health ministers are due jointly to present a draft decree that applies to all such establishments remaining open until 0200.

Some 350 cafes and bars in western France have already run trials, Ecology Minister Jean-Louis Borloo said.

The move comes after a weekend of road accidents, some alcohol-related.

The Pentecostal holiday weekend saw at least 17 deaths in seven accidents, AFP news agency reports.

"Health Minister Roselyne Bachelot and I will present a decree to make electronic breathalyser tests obligatory in drinking establishments open until 0200 so that everyone can check their level, their condition upon leaving," Mr Borloo said on the France 2 television channel.

"I hope that by this summer, it will be obligatory in all such places."

In one of the weekend's worst accidents, four people aged between 15 and 26 were killed when the car they were in went off the road near Forbach, in eastern France.

Police said the 36-year-old driver, who survived, had been drinking.

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