France announces tougher punishments for drivers under the influence

France drivers

In an effort to bring down the tragic number of road accident-related deaths in France, the government has brought in a raft of new rules that includes tougher punishments for speeders and those driving under the influence.  

In 2022, 3,260 people lost their lives in road-related accidents in France. To try and cut those figures down, the French government’s Interministerial Committee for Road Safety, chaired by Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, has announced 38 new measures to make the country’s roadways safer. 


Amongst the new rules are harsh fines for motorists driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  

Drivers caught driving on narcotics will also face an automatic suspension of their licence for a mandatory time period of six months to a year, and offenders will lose eight points from their licence – it will now be the same for those caught drink driving – up from the current six.  

For anyone driving under the influence of both drugs and alcohol, the government has said they will impound the driver’s vehicle as a matter of course.  


Any driver caught going 50 kilometres or more above the autorised speed limit will now face two months’ imprisonment, a fine of €3,750 and a six-point withdrawal from their licence.


Some of the new legislation is somewhat gentler on drivers who break the law, such as the removal of the point-docking system for those caught going less than five kilometres above the speed limit from 1st January 2024. Though no points will be taken, a fine will still have to be paid.  

From 1st April 2024, in conjunction with the Minister of the Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty, the government will no longer require a green insurance sticker to be put on vehicles. 

Registration procedures will also be simplified and the start of a dematerialisation of driving licences will come into effect. The goal here is not to fully replace a physical licence, but to complement it with a digital option available on mobile phones.  

Additionally, Prime Minister Borne announced that the age for obtaining a driver’s licence will be lowered to 17 from 18, making it easier for younger people to get to and from school or work, as well as give them freedom, notably to those living in rural areas.  

The government will also be allocating more funding to associations who advocate for road safety. 

Click here for the full run-down of the changes.


Make sure you’re never left out of the conversation.  

Sign up for the Monaco Life newsletter, and follow us on Facebook,  Twitter,  Instagram and LinkedIn.  


Photo source: Max Fleischmann, Unsplash