It is a common assumption that phenomena of binge-drinking and anti-social behaviour are distinctly British problems. While even most French people might agree that this is true, I have observed little to make me believe that the French are any better behaved.
The only difference I can ascertain is that licensing laws have saved France from the 11 o’clock closing time debacle – whereby every sozzled individual is kicked out onto the streets at the same time to try and find their way home (or another drink); and not surprisingly this is when the majority of public disorder occurs in the UK. But in France there has never been an 11 o’clock equivalent, so whenever there is anti-social behaviour it usually occurs on a much smaller scale and therefore rarely meets the public eye.
I live above a bar that closes at 4am, and if you ask me – the bags under my eyes are testament to the fact that there is no such thing as ‘responsible drinking’ in Britain, France or elsewhere.