Barman guilty after client dies drinking 56 shots

A French barman received a suspended jail sentence on Wednesday after he was convicted of manslaughter for letting a man do 56 shots during a drinking contest that led to his death.

Barman guilty after client dies drinking 56 shots
A French barman was convicted for letting a client drink 56 shots in one night after which he died.

Renaud Prudhomme, 56, broke the in-house shots record last October at Starter, a bar in the central French town of Clermont-Ferrand.

He had spent the evening with his daughter and some friends who helped him home in his inebriated state, but they soon had to phone the emergency services.

Prudhomme, a large man weighing around 120 kilos (260 pounds), died in hospital the following day.

Barman Gilles Crepin, 47, admitted at an earlier hearing that he had made “a mistake” by displaying the shots record on a noticeboard, encouraging the victim to go too far.

He was given a four-month suspended sentence by a local court on Wednesday and banned from working in a bar for a year.

His lawyer said he would appeal the ruling.

“It's a decision guided by emotion and the subconscious desire to set an example,” said Renaud Portejoie, who had called for the case to be thrown out.

Portejoie said his client bore no responsibility, adding that it was the man's daughter who had pushed him to break the record, and that he had existing respiratory and alcohol abuse problems.

“We can't ask every customer who buys alcohol to present their medical certificates,” said Portejoie.

Antoine Portal, a lawyer for Prudhomme's daughter, said she was not at the bar at the time of the drinking competition.

“My client is relieved by this decision,” Portal said of the ruling forbidding Crepin from working as a barman.

“We want to remind some professionals that it is illegal to serve alcohol to clients that are in an advanced state of inebriation,” he added.

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France rolls out new rules for ‘Happy Hours’ in bars and pubs

The rules are about to be tightened on Happy Hours at bars around France, as authorities try to tackle "le binge drinking".

France rolls out new rules for 'Happy Hours' in bars and pubs
Photo: Jean-Yves Romanetti/Flickr
A new set of anti-drinking measures is being rolled out by France's health ministry, including a crackdown on happy hours.
The ministry said bars are now forbidden “from offering reduced priced alcoholic drinks for limited times (happy hours) without also offering cheaper non-alcoholic drinks during the same time period”.
In other words, juices, soft drinks, and “virgin cocktails” would need to be be reduced as well as the beer, wine and alcoholic cocktails. 
The new measures are especially aimed at reducing what the health ministry called “an alarming increase” of binge drinking among France's younger generation.
The ministry has put together a series of anti-drinking posters, which anyone selling alcohol (even online shops) will need to put up (see example below). 
One of the posters explains that shopkeepers are now required to ask for IDs, whereas before this measure was only advisory. 
The health ministry's crackdown will also see those under the age of 16 banned from places selling alcohol, unless they are accompanied by an adult. 
A study last year found that 12 percent of 17-year-olds drink alcohol more than ten times a month.