European Alcoho... / Media Centre / Eurocare Newsle... / 2011 / Summer 2011 / News From acros... / France: Lyon aims to reduce Le Binge Drinking  


France: Lyon aims to reduce Le Binge Drinking

15 July 2011. The French city of Lyon has recently introduced a night time ban on retail sales of alcohol to tackle public drunkenness and antisocial behaviour among the young people sweeping France.

Shops throughout the city will be banned from selling alcohol between 10pm and 6am. The ban will not apply to bars, restaurants or nightclubs.

France is being forced to admit binge drinking among young people as a growing problem. The French national institute for health education (INPES) has launched a campaign called BoireTrop (OverDrink) to warn of the dangers of excessive drinking. INPES says alcohol is responsible for about 45,000 deaths in France every year.

A World Health Organisation report in 2010 showed the French to be the fourth biggest consumers of alcohol in Europe, based on 2005 figures, behind Estonia, the Czech Republic and Ireland. Britain was 13th. Not surprisingly, most alcohol consumed in France is wine. The report found Gallic drinking habits to be "stable".

Officials are particularly concerned about the increase in drinking among those aged 18-25, especially women, and are keen to address the growing fashion among youngsters for getting drunk as quickly as possible.

The trend hit the headlines last year with the organisation of several apéro géant (giant aperitif) parties using social network sites such as Facebook.

An apéro géant in Nantes last month attracted 6,000 youngsters. A drunken man was fished from the Loire by the emergency services who had foreseen such an event – several youngsters fell into the river the previous year – and stationed a boat on the river. Another teenager had to be rescued after climbing a crane.

Unfortunately the measure will only be in force until 10 September.

Shopkeepers who break the drink sales embargo could be fined €750 (£660).