What Is the Drinking Age in Paris? Alcohol Laws Explained
As a travel enthusiast and someone who loves to experience new cultures, I have always been intrigued by the drinking culture in different parts of the world. So, when I was planning my trip to Paris, one of the first things that came to mind was the legal drinking age and the drinking laws in the city.
I did some research and compiled all the information I found into this comprehensive guide on the drinking age in Paris and other drinking laws.
Drinking Laws in Paris
Legal Drinking Age in Paris
In Paris, the legal drinking age is 18. This means that you must be at least 18 years old to purchase and consume alcohol in public places. It’s also important to note that the legal age for purchasing tobacco products in Paris is also 18.
The legal age for purchasing alcohol in Paris is 18, and this law is strictly enforced. If you’re under 18 and attempt to purchase alcohol, you’ll be denied service, and the establishment may be fined.
It’s also important to note that many shops and stores stop selling alcohol after a certain time in the evening. If you’re planning to purchase alcohol, it’s best to do so earlier in the day to avoid disappointment.
Drinking Laws in Public Places
Drinking in public places is generally prohibited in Paris. This includes parks, streets, and other public areas. However, it is allowed in some designated areas such as outdoor seating areas at restaurants and cafes, as well as at some public events.
It’s important to note that if you’re caught drinking in public outside of these designated areas, you could be fined up to €38.
Drinking Laws in Private Places
Drinking in private places, such as your own home or a friend’s house, is generally allowed in Paris. However, it’s important to note that if you’re under 18 and drinking in a private place, it’s still illegal.
Penalties for Violating Drinking Laws in Paris
Violating the drinking laws in Paris can result in fines or even imprisonment. The severity of the punishment depends on the offense committed. For example, if you’re caught drinking in public outside of designated areas, you could be fined up to €38. However, if you’re caught serving alcohol to minors, you could face a fine of up to €15,000 and up to a year in prison.
Driving Laws in Paris
Legal Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limit for Driving in Paris
The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for driving in Paris is 0.05%. This is lower than the legal limit in many other countries, so it’s important to be aware of your alcohol consumption if you plan on driving in Paris.
Penalties for Violating Driving Laws in Paris
If you’re caught driving with a BAC above the legal limit in Paris, you could face a fine of up to €4,500, up to two years in prison, and a suspension of your driver’s license.
Where to Drink in Paris
Paris is home to some of the world’s best bars and nightlife spots. Here are some of my personal favorites:
Best Bars and Nightlife Spots in Paris
- Harry’s New York Bar: This iconic bar has been serving up cocktails since 1911 and has hosted famous patrons like Ernest Hemingway and Coco Chanel.
- Le Comptoir Général: This quirky bar and restaurant features an eclectic mix of decor and is a favorite among locals for its unique atmosphere and delicious drinks.
- Experimental Cocktail Club: This speakeasy-style bar serves up expertly crafted cocktails in a stylish setting.
- Le Bar du Bristol: Located in the luxurious Hotel Bristol, this elegant bar offers a refined atmosphere and a wide selection of wines and spirits.
- Rosa Bonheur: This outdoor bar in the heart of the Buttes Chaumont park is a popular spot for locals to enjoy a drink in the sunshine.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions related to the drinking age in Paris:
Is it legal to drink alcohol in public in Paris?
Drinking in public is generally prohibited in Paris, with some designated areas where it’s allowed.
What is the legal drinking age in Paris?
The legal drinking age in Paris is 18.
What is the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for driving in Paris?
The legal BAC limit for driving in Paris is 0.05%.
What are the penalties for violating drinking laws in Paris?
Violating the drinking laws in Paris can result in fines or even imprisonment, with the severity of the punishment depending on the offense committed.
What are some of the best bars and nightlife spots in Paris?
Some popular bars and nightlife spots in Paris include Harry’s New York Bar, Le Comptoir Général, Experimental Cocktail Club, Le Bar du Bristol, and Rosa Bonheur.
Understanding the drinking laws in Paris is an important part of any trip to the city. While the legal drinking age is 18, it’s important to be aware of other laws, such as those around purchasing and drinking in public places. By following the laws and regulations, you can safely enjoy all that Paris has to offer when it comes to food and drink. Cheers!
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