Italy’s DUI Alcohol Limits in 2024

drinking and driving laws in Italy

In Italy, drivers must adhere to a specified blood alcohol concentration (BAC) threshold, which is capped at 0.05%, corresponding to 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood.

This page aims to educate and raise awareness among individuals about the dangers associated with drunk driving in Italy. It’s important to note that the information provided on this site neither supports nor encourages the act of driving a vehicle while intoxicated in any country or territory.

What is the legal alcohol limit for driving in Italy?

In Italy, the legal alcohol limits for drivers vary depending on the category of the driver, ensuring road safety for all. Here’s a breakdown of the alcohol limits set for different categories of drivers:

  • Regular Drivers: The legal limit is set at 0.05% BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration), equivalent to 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood.
  • New Drivers: For individuals in the first three years after obtaining their driving license, the legal alcohol limit is 0.00% BAC, meaning absolute sobriety is required.
  • Professional Drivers: Similar to new drivers, the legal limit is strictly 0.00% BAC to ensure the utmost safety and responsibility while operating professional vehicles.

Drink and Drive Penalties and Punishments in Italy

Italy enforces strict penalties and punishments for drink-driving offenses, with varying degrees of severity based on the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level. These measures are designed to discourage drink driving and ensure public safety. It is crucial for individuals to stay informed about these regulations, as they are subject to change. We advise regularly checking the official state website for the most current information.

Penalties For Young, Novice, and Professional Drivers

  • BAC Level up to 0.05%
    • Fines: From €164 (administrative fine)
    • Penalty Points: 5
  • BAC Level up to 0.08%
    • Fines: From €712 (administrative fine)
    • Driving Ban: From 4 to 8 months
    • Penalty Points: 10
  • BAC Level up to 0.15%
    • Fines: From €1066 (criminal fine)
    • Driving Ban: From 8 to 18 months
    • Penalty Points: 10
    • Jail Time: Up to 9 months
  • BAC Level Above 0.15%
    • Fines: From €2000 (criminal fine)
    • Driving Ban: From 16 to 36 months
    • Penalty Points: 10
    • Jail Time: From 8 to 18 months
    • Vehicle Confiscation

Penalties For All Other Drivers

  • BAC Level of 0.05% to 0.08%
    • Fines: From €544 (administrative fine)
    • Driving Ban: From 3 to 6 months
    • Penalty Points: 10
  • BAC Level of 0.08% to 0.15%
    • Fines: From €800 (criminal fine)
    • Driving Ban: From 6 to 12 months
    • Penalty Points: 10
    • Jail Time: Up to 6 months
  • BAC Level Above 0.15%
    • Fines: From €1500 (criminal fine)
    • Driving Ban: From 12 to 24 months
    • Penalty Points: 10
    • Jail Time: From 6 to 12 months
    • Vehicle Confiscation

Vehicular Homicide

Since 2016, Italy includes vehicular homicide in its penal code, applying stringent penalties based on the degree of guilt and alcohol influence:

  • For BAC higher than 0.8 g/l: Imprisonment from 5 to 10 years.
  • For BAC above 1.5 g/l or professional drivers with BAC above 0.8 g/l: Imprisonment from 8 to 12 years.
  • Leaving the scene without providing assistance: Penalty increased from one-third to two-thirds.
  • Without a valid driving licence, or with a suspended/revoked license, or no vehicle insurance: Increased penalty.
  • Causing the death of more than one person: The maximum penalty limit is 18 years in prison.

Rehabilitation and Alcohol Interlock Programs

As of now, Italy does not offer rehabilitation programs for drink-driving offenders nor has it adopted legislation on Alcohol Interlock programs.

It’s paramount for drivers in Italy to adhere to these regulations to avoid severe penalties and contribute to road safety. Always check the official state website for the latest updates on drink-driving laws and penalties.

How Can I Calculate If My Alcohol Blood Limit Is Legal in Italy?

In Italy, the legality of your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) when driving is a matter of serious concern. The Italian police utilize two primary methods to determine a driver’s BAC level: breathalyzer tests at checkpoints and blood tests for more accurate measurements, particularly in situations where alcohol impairment is suspected in accidents or traffic violations.

As an experienced phlebologist with over a decade in the field, I recommend the following methods to self-assess your BAC level responsibly, helping you to stay within Italy’s legal limit:

1. Use a High-Quality Alcohol Breathalyzer

Investing in a reliable alcohol breathalyzer can make a significant difference in assessing your ability to drive safely. Based on my professional experience, the BACtrack S80 stands out as an exceptional choice available in Italy. It’s renowned for its Professional-Grade Accuracy and has earned approvals from the DOT & NHTSA, in addition to being FDA 510(k) cleared. The BACtrack S80‘s precision and reliability make it an indispensable tool for anyone who wants to ensure they are not exceeding the legal alcohol limit. I highly recommend keeping one in your vehicle, as it can serve as a critical check against unintentional impaired driving—a common issue where individuals may not accurately judge their BAC level.

2. Utilize a Professional BAC Calculator

For those who prefer a more accessible option, I, alongside other phlebologists and with the assistance of web developers, have developed an online BAC calculator. This tool is designed to estimate your BAC level based on the amount and type of alcohol consumed, your weight, and the time elapsed since drinking. You can find this calculator online and use it to get a rough idea of your BAC level before deciding to drive.

Important Consideration

It’s crucial to understand that while both the high-quality alcohol breathalyzer and the online BAC calculator offer valuable insights into your alcohol levels, they do not provide 100% accurate results. Biological variables, the rate of alcohol metabolism, and the precision of the device or calculations can introduce discrepancies. Therefore, these methods should be used as tools to aid in decision-making rather than definitive measures of legality or impairment.

Ways to Avoid Driving with a High BAC in Italy

Drinking beer and driving in Italy

Driving with a high Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) poses significant risks, not only to the driver but also to others on the road. In Italy, where the culture often includes social drinking, it’s especially important to plan ahead to ensure that you can enjoy your time without compromising on safety. Here are some practical recommendations to avoid driving under the influence:

1. Utilize Taxi and Ride-Sharing Apps

One of the most convenient and immediate ways to avoid driving after consuming alcohol is to use taxi services or ride-sharing apps. In Italy, popular international apps like Uber offer reliable services that can be easily accessed through your smartphone. These platforms connect you with local drivers who can safely get you to your destination at any time of the day or night.

Additionally, for a more local experience or in areas where ride-sharing might not be as prevalent, consider using established local taxi companies. For instance, in Rome, Taxi Ncc Roma Alpha offers dependable services, while in Milan, Taxi Milano | is a reputable option. These local companies provide the comfort of professional drivers who are familiar with the area and can navigate efficiently.

2. Order a Designated Driver Service

If you’ve driven to a location and find yourself unable to safely drive back due to alcohol consumption, ordering a designated driver service is a fantastic solution. This service involves a professional driver coming to your location and driving you home in your own vehicle. This way, you won’t have to leave your car behind or worry about retrieving it the next day.

In Rome, Transfer Service Rome offers such services, ensuring you and your car get back home safely. Similarly, in Milan, Personal Driver Milano Srl provides professional drivers who can assist you after a night out. To find a designated driver service in your specific city, a quick online search for “designated driver service” followed by the name of your city will yield several options.

Choosing not to drive after drinking is a responsible decision that contributes to the safety of everyone on the road. By leveraging technology and the services available, you can enjoy Italy’s vibrant nightlife and cultural offerings without the risks associated with driving under the influence. Planning ahead and knowing your options for safe transportation can make all the difference in ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience while visiting or living in Italy.

Sticking to Drink and Drive Laws in Italy: Sad Statistics

In 2020, Italy saw a significant decrease in road fatalities, dropping 24.5% from the previous year, with noticeable declines in road injury crashes during the early months of the pandemic. Following this, Italy introduced the Road Safety Strategy Plan 2030 in January 2021, aiming to build a safer road environment based on the Safe System concept, which focuses on comprehensive safety measures across five key areas.

Acknowledging the severe risks associated with drunk driving is crucial for ensuring personal and public safety. Opting for safe transportation methods, such as designated driver services or taxis, is advisable to mitigate these risks. Being informed about the local drunk driving laws and regularly checking your BAC with a reliable alcohol breathalyzer can further prevent the likelihood of driving impaired.

To stay informed and ensure adherence to legal limits, regularly monitoring your BAC, even after minimal alcohol consumption, is essential. Using a certified alcohol breathalyzer can help in this regard, offering a practical way to avoid the dangers associated with drunk driving. For the latest on drunk driving laws and safe driving practices, visiting Italy’s official website is recommended.

About the author

Ashley Cresswell

Ashley Cresswell is a former phlebotomist with a passion for road safety. During her time as a phlebotomist, Ashley administered over 1000 blood alcohol tests to impaired drivers and was shocked to discover that many of them were simply uninformed about the legal limits for driving under the influence. As a result, Ashley conducted extensive research on scientific studies and local laws to bring drivers a comprehensive resource on drink and drive limits from around the world.