France Bans “Le Open Bar” to Curb Binge Drinking. Sacre Bleu!
After prohibiting smoking in bars in January, the French government is now cracking down on other vices by banning open bars and happy hours. The measures come after rising binge drinking trends among its country’s youth. This may come as a surprise to Americans accustomed to college kid-culture which traditionally stands in contrast to Europe’s seemingly refined youth who have profited from liberal attitudes on drinking. But, it appears weaning youngsters on beer and wine is no longer working as alcohol-related visits for minors rose 50 percent in the past five years. The law will also raise the drinking age from 16 to 18. While wine and cigarettes might be health threats, they’re also staples of French culture. If the government continues this trend, what’s next? Better start clinging to those croissants for dear life. [Reuters]