Drivers who drink bottle of wine let off with fine

Drivers in an Italian province can now drink a whole bottle of wine before driving and not lose their licence.

kerry-councillors-drink-driving-390x285The new rules apply in Avellino, a province in Italy’s southern Campania region, and mean that someone who drinks around eight glasses of wine, roughly an entire bottle, could be let off with a fine of just €800 (£560).

Currently, any driver caught with a blood-alcohol content between 0.8 and 1.5g per litre of blood faces a licence suspension of six to 12 months.

However Carlo Sessa, the prefect of Avellino, has decided to revoke this rule, implementing decidedly less stringent drink driving laws.

As reported by the Telegraph, Sessa justified his decision explaining that it would help relieve the “heavy burden on public administration”, referring to the fact the the region’s judiciary repeatedly cancel the suspension of licences in its appeal courts.

However the new rules have caused outrage among campaigners who have branded it a “crippling blow” in the battle to make the province’s roads safer, which have long been some of the most dangerous in the EU.

Giuseppa Cassaniti, president of the Italian Association for the Families and Victims of Road Deaths, told The Telegraph it was a “step backwards” for Italy.

“This sends the message that it is OK to flout the law, that it is OK to drive drunk,” she said. “People will think they can get away with it. It’s a crippling blow.”

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