Here’s everything you need to know about traffic fines in France before visiting the country by car. France has a very tough road safety policy, and the fines for some of the most common penalties are very, very high. Here are the most common driving offences and their corresponding penalties.
The points withdrawal applies only to French licence holders; the amount of the fines is the same for drivers of any nationality.
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Speeding fines in France
Speed limits in France are similar to those in any other European country. These are the fines according to speeding:
- For speeding less than 20 km/h in urban areas: fixed fine of 135 euros and withdrawal of 1 point.
- For speeding less than 20 km/h outside urban areas: fixed fine of 68 euros and loss of 1 point.
- For speeding at 20 km/h and less than 30 km/h: fixed fine of €135 and withdrawal of 2 points.
- For speeding equal to 30 km/h and less than 40 km/h: fixed fine of 135 euros and loss of 3 points.
- For speeding equal to 40 km/h and less than 50 km/h: fixed fine of 135 euros and loss of 4 points.
- For speeding at 50 km/h or more: fine of up to 1,300 euros and withdrawal of 6 points.
- For speeding 30 km/h or more, you risk other penalties: compulsory awareness training, licence suspension for up to 3 years, vehicle confiscation, etc.
Fines for drugs and alcohol at the wheel
Penalties for drug use at the wheel in France
Drug use is an offence punishable by a fine of 4,500 euros and 2 years’ imprisonment. If you are also under the influence of alcohol, the fine is 9,000 euros and the prison sentence is 3 years. In addition, 6 points are withdrawn from the driver’s licence and the vehicle may be immobilised.
When the driver responsible for an accident tests positive for drug use, the penalties can be up to 150,000 euros.
Refusal to take drug tests or drug tests is punishable by 2 years imprisonment, a fine of 4,500 euros and 6 points on the driving licence.
Penalties for drink-driving in France
Refusal to take a breathalyser test is punishable by 2 years imprisonment and a fine of 4,500 euros.
Driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.5 g/l or 0.25 mg of alcohol per litre of exhaled air is prohibited.
- Driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.5 g/l or more but less than 0.8 g/l is an offence punishable by a fine of up to 750 euros. Six points are deducted from the driver’s licence and the vehicle may be immobilised.
- Driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.8 g/l or more is an offence punishable by up to two years imprisonment. The police can withdraw your driving licence for up to 72 hours. The fine can be up to 4,500 euros, 6 points are deducted from your driving licence and the vehicle may be immobilised.
Parking fines in France
The amount of parking fines in France increases after a payment date, so the amounts given below are the minimum amounts possible for each fine. Parking fines may in some cases lead to the removal of the vehicle, which will result in additional penalties to the original fine.
- Excessive parking (more than 7 days in the same place, although the period may be less depending on the applicable municipal regulations): 35 euros.
- Parking on a pavement, double parking, in a space reserved for public transport or taxi ranks, in a loading and unloading space, in front of the entrance to a building, on a bridge, in a tunnel or in an emergency lane: 35 euros.
- Parking in a space reserved for the disabled, at a pedestrian crossing or in a cycle lane: 135 euros.
- Dangerous parking: near a road intersection, curves, changes of gradient or level crossings, when visibility is insufficient: 135 euros. You will also lose 3 points on your driving licence and risk having your driving licence withdrawn for up to 3 years.
As for regulated parking offences (in French FPS), they are different in each municipality. The deadline to pay them is up to three months, but the amount is reduced if they are paid within the first few days and increased if they are paid late.