Paris Bans Late-Night Drinking on the Banks of the Seine

Banks of the Seine in Paris. Photo credit: Joe Pitha, Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0). Photo has been cropped.

Parisians poured one out this week, mourning the loss of the great French tradition of nighttime drunken debauchery on its riverbanks: it is now forbidden to drink alcohol on the quais of the Seine late at night.

The city’s Prefecture of Police announced their decree banning late-night boozing beside the river at the end of June. Until this early this month the ban hadn’t received much buzz.

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According to the ban, consuming, possessing or transporting alcoholic beverages on the edges of Paris’ central river is forbidden from midnight to 7 a.m., seven days a week, until October 28, 2019. The ban affects the voies and the berges of the Seine, which run through the 1st, 4th, 8th, 12th and 16th arrondissements on Rive Droit, and the 5th, 6th, 7th, 13th and 15th arrondissements on Rive Gauche.

The ban can be attributed to a high number of incidents involving drunk people on the quais of the Seine and noise complaints from area residents, notably on quai Saint-Bernard in the 5th arrondissement.

The quais of Canal Saint-Martin and any bars or restaurants located on the quais of the canal or the Seine are not affected by the ban (so head on over to Mademoiselle Mouche).

No doubt American college students studying abroad in Paris will be gravely disappointed when they arrive in the country of open-container laws only to learn that the primary hot spot for late-night debauchery is no longer an option — at least until October 29.