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Sale of alcohol at night

Verified 10 mai 2019 - Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister), Ministry of the Interior

The sale of alcohol between 10 pm and 8 am is regulated. In addition, a municipal decree may prohibit it in the entire territory of the municipality or in a precisely defined area.

Drinks to go

Any take-out beverage operator (e.g. supermarket, grocery store) who wants to sell alcohol between 10 and 8 must undergo specific training, provided by an approved training center, in order to obtain a license to sell alcoholic beverages at night. The schedules in force are defined by municipal decree.

  Warning : distribution of alcoholic beverages by a vending machine is prohibited.

Service station

In gas stations, it is forbidden to sell alcoholic drinks to go between 6pm and 8am..

It is mandatory to affix a display [application/pdf - 130.2 KB] the customer report.

In addition, chilled alcoholic beverages may not be sold at fuel outlets at any time.


The authorization to open at night shall apply exclusively to the operator of a a nocturnal establishment which mainly offers its customers the hearing of music, dance activity or a performance on stage.

This authorization issued in the prefecture on a case-by-case basis is strictly personal and non-transferable: it cannot be transferred when a business is transferred, for example. It shall be granted on condition that no disturbance to public order is caused.

On-site beverage outlets with a nightclub activity must stop serving alcohol to their customers at least 1:30 before closing, which shall be 7 a.m.

For example, for an establishment that closes at 5 a.m., the sale or distribution of alcoholic beverages is prohibited after 3:30 a.m.

In the case of on-site drinking flows that close between 2 a.m. and 7 a.m., devices for the detection of alcoholic impregnation (chemical or electronic alcohol testing), intended for use prior to driving, must be made available to the public in a visible manner.

Minimum number of tests per establishment

Without being able to be less than 50 devices, the minimum number of breathalyzers available at the opening time shall be established according to the capacity of the establishment:

Minimum number of alcohol impregnation screening devices according to the capacity of the establishment

Device type

Minimum number

Chemical ethylotest*

1/4 capacity

Electronic calibration test for a limited number of breaths

  • 1 device per 300 persons
  • the total number of breaths available for all breathalyzers shall be at least 1/4 of the holding capacity

Electronic calibration with annual calibration without limit on the number of breaths

1 device per 300 persons

* 40% chemical alcohol tests must be capable of detecting an alcohol concentration in the expired air equal to or greater than 0,10 mg/liter.

Terms of use

The person in charge of the establishment must ensure that the devices are used in satisfactory hygienic conditions, in particular by making available individually wrapped and sealed tips.

Electronic devices, fixed or portable, shall be subject to periodic verification.

Devices must be kept in good condition so that their screening performance is not impaired. If not, they must be replaced.

Customer information

Alcohol tests made available to customers must be reported by an information support, near the exit of the establishment, in the immediate vicinity of the devices.

The message shall be centered on a medium of at least 21 × 29,7 cm (A4) size, which can be extended in a homogeneous way.

An information notice, also located near the breathalyzer, shall bear the following information:

  • single use of the nozzle;
  • the maximum display thresholds (0,10 mg/l and 0,25 mg/l in expired air) correspond to the thresholds triggering a contravention in the event of driving a vehicle (0,10 mg/l in expired air corresponds to 0,2 g/l in blood and 0,25 mg/l in expired air corresponds to 0,5 g/l in blood);
  • the maximum duration of use between two calibrations and/or the maximum number of breaths allowed by the breath test;
  • the results obtained by means of a device whose calibration date has passed or whose recommended number of measurements has been exceeded are not reliable;
  • the maximum blood alcohol level is reached after a minimum of 20 minutes after ingestion of the alcohol (any measure taken before this period automatically results in a blood alcohol level below the actual level);
  • the result obtained shall not be effective against the results of checks carried out by the forces of law and order in the context of legal checks;
  • beyond 0,10 mg/l for novice drivers (probationary or learning permit) or 0,25 mg/l for other drivers, driving is prohibited.

The notice must be printed:

  • on a paper medium of a minimum size of 21 × 29,7 cm (A4), with no limit of homogeneous enlargement;
  • in characters Helvetica (normal or bold) black on yellow background.