Drinking in public banned
From the 1st April, drinking in public places will become illegal. This includes the streets, parks, and the beach.
No it is not an April Fool, starting next month you will no longer be able to have an evening picnic on the beach and enjoy a cool beer or a glass of rose whilst watching the sun go down. Drinking alcohol in all public places will be banned between the hours of 8pm and 5am. No drinking in the streets, in the parks, or on the beaches.
The Mayor is reportedly implementing the measure to cut down on drunk and disorderly behaviour in public, as well as violence related crime. It is also probably aimed at the rising visibility of Easter Europeans getting drunk and sitting outside the cash machines in central Nice and the Old Town.
The 8pm watershed seems early as nobody goes out to the bars in Nice before 10pm, and and trouble tends to be in the early hours of the morning. Even now in early May the sun does not set until quarter to nine. This suggests the new law is another measure in Christian Estrosi’s campaign to clean up the image of Nice.
The key beneficiary will be the bars on or next to the beach, which will become the only “offical” way to enjoy a glass of wine whilst watching the amazing sun sets over the Baie des Anges. It remains to be seen what will happen during the large well established public events such as the Fete de la musique or the Festival du chateau.
Overall the measure will be welcomed by those who want to traverse the bars and restaurants in the evening without being accosted. It will be cursed by students who want to peacefully sit on the beach with a crate of beer and guitar and enjoy themselves. Perhaps pushing the hour back to 10pm during the summer might be an acceptable compromise?