14 March 2009

Vocabulary in the News: France to Increase Drinking Age

Taken from: http://www.lost-in-france.com/french-news/1064-france-to-increase-drinking-age

The national assembly have voted to raise the legal age limit for alcohol and tobacco sales in France from 16 to 18 which if passed would bring France in line with most of the EU

The new law is partly designed as part of a crackdown on teenage binge drinking in France which has been rising steadily over recent years, with alcohol related hospital admissions for minors up by 50 percent between 2004 and 2007.

Also under the new legislation petrol stations will no longer be able to sell alcohol and the increasingly popular 'open bars' where customers can drink as much as they like for a set price will also be banned.

Wine tasting was excluded from the ban after mounting pressure from winegrowers who saw the legislation as a threat to their already suffering industry.

According to government figures France ranks 11th place in the world with regards to alcohol consumption with each person drinking on average 9 litres per year which works out a whopping 121,828,845 gallons for the whole country.

The law still has to be approved by the French Senate but this is expected to be just a formality and is scheduled for next month.

legal age limit


the minimum age required to do any particular action

EX. The legal age limit to buy cigarettes in the United States is 18.

to bring in line


to bring into conformity

EX. They had to make some adjustments to the aircraft to bring it in line with European codes.

a crackdown


a resorting to strict or stricter measures of discipline or punishment

EX. Police are set to launch a major crackdown on bicyclists not respecting traffic regulations.

binge drinking


the practice of drinking excessive amounts of alcohol regularly

EX. Binge drinking can be dangerous and result in vomiting, loss of sensory perception and blackouts.

steadily (adv.)


in a regular and uniform manner without changing

EX. Many Americans believe that the right to protect oneself is steadily being eroded by politicians.

over (prep.)


during; through

EX. Over the past year, the number of demonstrations against the government have slowly increased.



connected to or associated with alcohol use

EX. According to the news, last night’s fatal car crash was alcohol-related.

a set price


a fixed price

EX. This internet provider has a set price for internet, television and telephone access.

banned (adj.)


forbidden by law

EX. The book Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie is banned in Iran for blasphemy.

a ban


a prohibition imposed by law or official decree

EX. The Obama administration will seek to reinstate the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 during the Bush administration.

mounting (adj.)


increasing, growing

EX. China is resisting mounting pressure to cut CO2 emissions

to rank


to hold a position

EX. The Unites States ranks 7th among most competitive countries in travel and tourism sector.

to work out


to have a specified result

EX. The ration works out to an odd number.



exceptionally or unusually large

EX. The price of gasoline fell by a whopping 40 percent.

to be scheduled


to be planned for a certain time or date

EX. My job interview with the human resources director is scheduled for next Monday.

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