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. 

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VIDEO: Is life on a French café terrace really this bad?

France-based British comedian Paul Taylor takes a look at how drinking on a French café terrace isn't as good as we think might think it is.

VIDEO: Is life on a French café terrace really this bad?
Photo: Canal Plus
Paul Taylor's newest episode of “What the Fuck France”, a mini series shown on French TV channel Canal Plus, tackles his clear dislike of sitting on a French café terrace.
“It's like drinking in hell,” Taylor says. 
He lists three main points as to why he can't stand life on terrace (or in his own words “three reasons why it's shit”), including the inattentive waiters, the lack of space, and the clouds of cigarette smoke. 
“Before (smoking got banned inside), you could sit outside to get some fresh air, now you have to go back inside,” he says.
“F**king nice one, France,” he says in one of many expletive filled outbursts that appear to have been injected for a French audience who are perhaps not so sensitive to a repeated use of the f-word, but which may put off some Anglo viewers.
He takes regular aim at what he calls the “dickhead” waiters, the risks of getting beer spilled on you,  the challenges of eating food with no elbow room, the chances of being defecated on by a bird and pickpockets. Most of which we can probably relate to.
See the full clip below (but be warned for explicit language throughout).
But hold on, surely life on les terraces can't be all that bad? In fact it's one of the major draws of French cities isn't it?
OK they can be overcrowded and diners are packed together like Antarctic penguins trying to survive winter and there's the smoke-filled “indoor terraces”, which should be torn down.
But despite these few drawbacks, we'd argue that sitting on a terrace is one of the best ways to spend €10 in Paris. 
It's (probably) the best people-watching in the world, the waiters (never actually met a real d**khead one yet) will never rush you to leave, and it feels like you're living the Parisian life as it would have been decades ago. 
Yes, it might be a pricey affair if you choose the wrong part of town, but remember that you're paying for the experience as well as the pint.
And have you seen the inside of some of these bars? Best stay outside.
Nevertheless the video appears to have struck a chord with French viewers, over 90,000 of whom have watched the clip on You Tube.
'I love this kind of video. It makes laugh. It's good to take a step back,” said one French fan.
Although another viewer was not so happy abut the French bashing tone.
“French bashing, again… Someone who is really interested about Paris knows exactly where to go. If you stay in tourists areas, don't be surprised! It's easy to criticize and what you are doing is absolutely not original. Stop with this campaign of misinformation. French bashing, STOP! Thank you.”

Paul Taylor's new show, What the Fuck France, is on Canal+ on Saturdays at 12.20pm. His first episode tackled dubbing in France