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France Is on a Mission to End Binge Drinking

Or throw them in jail for up to a year.


Encouraging a friend to do a keg stand? That may soon land you in jail in France. According to the Washington Post, a new government proposal could make "inciting binge drinking" punishable by a hefty fine of up to €15,000 ($19,200 USD) or even up to a year in jail. The Guardian notes that the bill is aimed at "combatting alcoholism among the young."

The proposed law will also punish those who sell products that make drinking look fun. French health minister Marisol Touraine told RTL radio that items like "telephone cases or T-shirts that show amusing scenes based on drunkenness" could be targeted. As could the organizers of "student parties" where binge drinking often takes place.

The Washington Post points out that that the move is surprising due to France's reputation as one of the most "liberal" countries in the world when it comes to alcohol consumption. The legal minimum age to drink is technically 18, but "there is no regulation of alcohol for consumption in private." France also really likes booze: It's the world's second largest consumer of wine, drinking nearly 28.1 million hectoliters in 2013 alone. Plus, the country is home to a hospital that installed a wine bar (that also serves whiskey) for patients' use.