A glass of wine, beer or cider – but not spirits – was always permitted with lunch, including while on duty. Even packed lunches provided out of riot vans while they were patrolling demonstrations came with a can of beer or glass of wine.Yes, the French riot police can no longer swill wine and/or beer during their lunch breaks. Sacrebleu! Quelle horreur!
Carabinieri. These are the special/paramilitary police who serve as an intermediate force between police and army. Anyhow, in their cafeteria, they had juice boxes like the kind kids have--but these did not have juice but wine. I never heard of such a thing, but to have it available where the paramilitary police guys lunch? Oh my!
So, I cannot say I am surprised that the French riot police are used to drinking alcohol during their lunch hour or that they would be upset at losing this privilege.