Drinking age in France
The minimum drinking age in France is 18. If a vendor sells alcohol to a minor that is under the age of 18 years old, they can be fined 7500 Euros. This age was raised to 18 from 16 in 2006. It is illegal to give minors alcohol that can result in intoxication.
However, the legal drinking age in France and Paris used to be 16. This had seen individuals that were over the age of 16 being legally allowed to purchase alcohol anywhere including shops, restaurants, clubs, and bars. However, the legal drinking age was changed to 18. This was a move that was done in conjunction with several other European countries in order to help curb underage drinking amongst minors. Vendors that currently sell alcohol to anyone under the age of 18 can face a penalty of 7,500 Euros.
Unlike vendors in the United States, they rarely check ID in Paris and France, and they rely on a subjective judgment call instead to assess whether or not a customer is old enough to purchase alcohol. Parents traveling with young children and teenagers should be aware that alcohol drinking is not as stigmatized as it is in the U.S., and that it is still pretty easy for teenagers to procure alcohol from different vendors. This is also a good thing if you’re traveling to France with your children and want them to experience French culture. You can order alcoholic drinks for them at restaurants. They really get a taste of French culture, and it may be sort of a culture shock, to drink in public without the stigma that it has in the U.S.
French culture is known for its tolerant attitude of alcohol consumption, just like Germany is. French culture has long had a love relationship with alcohol consumption, and it is a part of ancient cultural traditions that run deep back hundreds of years. Of course, excessive alcoholic abuse by adolescents is never tolerated in the culture, but alcohol consumption is not badly regarded. The minimum drinking age was raised to 18 only recently, and it used to be quite common to see 16 year olds doing a lot of drinking. There are several interesting things about France, and like Germany, there tolerance of adolescents drinking is one of them. The tradition goes back centuries, and it is not easily erased because certain people are uneasy with or because a few bad apples ruin it for everyone.
French stigma toward alcohol consumption is not nearly as strong as it is in the United States. There are far less incidents of drunk driving because there are less people in the country and there is less automobile transportation. Additionally, youth drinking has gone back 100’s of years, and it something that is shared with the whole family. Alcohol was a frequent component of meals, lunches, and family meals, and it was not something done in isolation, seclusion, or private like it is in America, when it is done at home that is. Alcohol is less a social party beverage in France amongst adolescents than it is in the United States.