Simon was driving, and although we'd just had lunch (in a cacophonic cafe that hadn't had quite enough money or taste expended on renovations) we had not had a drink. He happily breathed on the sensor, then handed over his driver's licence -- warning the policeman that it was not Australian. The policeman was slightly bemused to be handed a piece of pink card by a man with an Australianish accent, driving a typical Australian's car. His first comment was 'There's no photo!' Simon pointed out that it folded, and the photo was inside. So that was OK, just -- the policemen clearly wasn't very impressed by the French licence. Still, since these licences are valid for life, we are not in any hurry to swap them for the new EU compliant credit card style licences which are only valid for 10 years. We have until 2027 to make the change.
Random breath testing is common in France too, and just as successful. I was pulled over once in front of the Hotel de Ville in Preuilly. The gendarme was completely unphased that the boot of the car was full of empty wine bottles that I was taking to the dechetterie (recycling depot). He was more interested in practicing his English on me. I had had a drink at lunchtime, but fortunately enough time had elapsed that I registered 0 on the machine. At one stage here you had to carry a disposable single use ethylotest in the car with you but the rule was so stupid it was never fully introduced.