Drinking Age in Paris: Everything You Need To Know

Drinking Age in Paris

France is one of the top tourist destinations in the entire world and with good reason. Naturally, there are certain people who want to know about this beautiful European country’s alcohol laws, especially the drinking age in Paris, the capital city – In case they have plans to visit in the far or near future. So here is a handy guide for you to read if you happen to be one of those. 

France, like most European countries, loves their alcohol, and drinking is one of the best things you can do at night in Paris. Alcohol is actually one of the biggest French exports, ranging from smokey-flavored cognacs, luxurious French wines, and other unique liquors that you cannot find anywhere else in the world, such as absinthe (Which is said to cause hallucinations when consumed too much). It’s only natural that there are plenty of laws in the country when it comes to alcohol consumption that everyone needs to follow. So, without further ado, here they are:

What is the Legal Drinking Age in Paris?

The legal drinking age in Paris is 18 years old, and this applies to all kinds of alcoholic beverages, such as beers, wines, and other hard liquor. But prior to 2009, it was actually a bit lower than that – Teenagers can consume alcohol when they turn 16 years old, but the government has since increased the age. But the official law has still stated that alcohol cannot be sold or consumed by minors below 18.

What is the Legal Drinking Age in Paris for Tourists and Foreigners?

Just like other inhabitants in the city, you can only consume all alcoholic beverages in Paris once you turn 18 – It doesn’t matter if you’re only visiting the city or just recently moved in for a permanent residence. If you are past 18, though, then feel free to enjoy the country’s roster of alcoholic drinks because there are many. It also helps if you acquaint yourself quickly with the drinking culture and liquor laws around the French capital. 

If you also have plans to visit the country to watch a sporting event live, then you might want to remember that they won’t sell alcohol in establishments such as stadiums and open fields, where these games are usually held. 

Do You Need an ID to Drink in Paris?

If you just turned 18 and you want to visit one of Paris’ bars, pubs, or nightclubs, then be sure to have a card or any legal ID with you for the trip. It also doesn’t help if you look young yourself, as people over the age of 30 can still get requested for ID cards there. French law also states that you must carry your ID, passport, and driver’s license with you at all times, even when not taking part in nightlife activities. 

Legal Drinking Age in Paris with Parents  

As mentioned, the legal drinking age in Paris is 18. But if you are accompanied by an adult, such as a parent or a guardian, then you can drink alcohol if you are 17 or even 16. Things have since changed, however, and as of this year, you may only buy all kinds of alcohol in France once you turn 18. 

Legal Drinking Age in Paris by Region

Paris, and just France in general, has a vast collection of liquor that you’re bound to enjoy. Plenty of these come from different cities and provinces and are made using a whole array of fermentation methods. However, the one thing that isn’t varied here is the legal drinking age, which is 18 years old. Once you officially turn 18, you can now roam around the city and try all of these alcohols to your heart’s content. 

Can Minors Drink in Paris with Their Parents?

Drinking Age in Paris

If you are a minor (aka below 16 years old), then you are not allowed to consume any kind of alcoholic beverage. But you can still take a sip of wine or two in moderation when you visit a café or bar in Paris that serves alcohol.

Establishments in Paris that serve or sell alcohol are required to post up an official sign on their front door or windows, which states that visitors should present an ID card before buying liquor. Minors can purchase alcohol in Paris, however, but they must be accompanied by an adult. 

Consequences of Breaking the Drinking Age Law in Paris 

If you exceed France’s blood alcohol content limit of 0.05%, then you would have to pay a very hefty fine of at least 4,000 Euros. Depending on the gravity of the situation, your driver’s license could also be confiscated and suspended for over 3 years. Meanwhile, you could also serve a possible prison sentence of at least 2 years. Public intoxication is illegal in France, and getting caught roaming around the streets drunk will result in the offender paying at least 150 Euros.

A Quick Recap of the Drinking Age in Paris 

France is, no doubt, a fun country to be in – But you must obey the drinking age in Paris if you don’t want to get into trouble with the law. Just like with all the other countries, enjoying alcohol is fun, as long as you do it in moderation and are prepared to face the consequences if you consume too much. 

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