France Wants to Make Inciting Binge Drinking Illegal
Wine is a sipping drink. So maybe it makes sense that the French government is trying to put an end to binge drinking.
A draft bill introduced in France earlier this week would allow fines up to €15,000 and a year in jail for people who incite binge drinking. What exactly it means to “incite” excessive alcohol consumption is still a bit unclear. The Telegraph quotes French Health Minister Marisol Touraine as saying, “It will be made illegal to sell products that make alcohol appear pleasant,” citing examples as “telephone cases or T-shirts that show amusing scenes based on drunkenness.”
It’s worth making the distinction that binge drinking itself would not be illegal, only its encouragement – creating an awkward situation where the person yelling “chug” could get in more trouble than the actual chugger.
The campaign comes as France seeks to lessen the amount of young people partaking in le binge drinking, as they call it. Surprisingly, the French prefer to use the English phrase. In fact, they see the phenomenon as an “Anglo-Saxon” import. It’s a very French way of looking at things: Sure, they’re consistently ranked as one of the heaviest drinking countries in the world, but if you’re going to consume a lot of alcohol, do it the French way, which seems to be slowly, but all day long.