According to proposed legislation, Italians would no longer be allowed to consume any alcohol before operating a car. Even one glass of wine would take a driver over the legal limit.
- Under a bipartisan bill being discussed by the Chamber of Deputies transport committee, the legal blood-alcohol limit would be lowered to 0.2%, or 0.2 grammes of alcohol per litre of blood.
”If you drink you don’t drive and if you drive you don’t drink: that must be the rationale of the bill to prevent repeated murders by drunk-drivers,” said committee chairman Mario Valducci.
The current legal level for driving in Italy is 0.5%, the same as in France, Germany and Spain and already lower than the United Kingdom’s 0.8%.
Sanctions for drunk-drivers would become harsher under the bill, with an initial six-month driving licence confiscation that could be made permanent in the event of repeat offences. Valducci said the possibility of applying the 0.2% blood-alcohol limit only to certain age groups was also under examination.
Across Italy, pundits and bloggers are calling the proposed legislation “neo-prohibitionism” and some claim that the impact on restaurants and wine tourism will be devastating. Proponents of the legislation note that “random roadside alcohol checks” will not be as frequent as in France, for example, where 10 million motorists are stopped at check points each year. In Italian, only 1 million would be stopped annually at check points if the legislation is approved.