Monday, 24 February 2020

Alcohol Serving and Consumption Laws in France

You will see this notice displayed in every bar and restaurant in France.

Obligatory legal notice on the door of a restaurant about the serving and consumption of alcohol.  Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

It says it is forbidden to sell alcohol to anyone under 18 years old and bar staff are responsible for  asking for proof of age. It is forbidden to offer alcohol to minors in licensed premises, shops and any public place. Anyone under 16 years of age is not allowed into licensed premises unless accompanied by one of their parents or a responsible adult.

It is forbidden to offer discounted alcoholic drinks during a 'Happy Hour' type event without also offering equally discounted non-alcoholic drinks.

It is forbidden for licensed premises to offer alcohol to manifestly drunk people, or to allow them to enter the premises.

It is forbidden to be obviously drunk in a public place.

For comparison, in Australia, the law on serving alcohol varies a bit from State to State, but broadly, you can't serve alcohol to anyone under 18, you can't be obviously drunk in public and bars are not allowed to serve drunk people. Both countries have regulations about drinking on the street, with curfews or rules about glass containers or opened containers, in particular problem areas. The only difference I can see is that I am unaware of any rules in Australia that insist on equivalency for non-alcoholic beverages during Happy Hours (but I'm happy for readers to correct me on that if they know better).

Both countries have a blood alcohol limit of 0.05% for driving.

Heather over at Secrets of Paris has written a very good and comprehensive post about liquor laws in France, and Paris in particular. 


For details of our private guided tours of chateaux, gardens, wineries, markets and more please visit the Loire Valley Time Travel website. We would be delighted to design a tour for you.

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