France May Ban Sale of Alcohol to Minors

French lawmakers have approved an amendment that would raise the minimum age for buying alcohol in a country long known for its relaxed attitude toward drinking.

The vote in the National Assembly, the lower house of Parliament, would ban the sale of alcohol to teens under age 18 and fine violators up to $9,400.

Lawmakers also voted Monday to forbid the overnight sale of alcohol at gas stations. The amendments are part of a vast hospital reform law that still must be passed by both houses of Parliament.

The drinking age in France currently varies depending on the type of alcohol involved and the place of sale. But anyone 16 or older can order beer and wine in bars.