Alcohol Interlocks in Italy
Changes to road safety laws in Italy could lead to the introduction of alcohol interlock programmes for drink driving offenders, as well as updates to numerous road safety rules. In Italy there were no specific regulations or government-led experiments.
For this reason the Fondazione Ania launched a project, to be developed in the professional drivers sector. In the course of 2018, 53 systems were installed on a fleet of buses owned by Bus Company, a public transport company with 400 employees, who use 300 coaches travelling about 15 million km per year.
The purpose of the trial was to :
- Test the alcohol interlock systems and understand their operational functionality
- Provide information to the insurance sector
- Prevent negative consequences of alcohol abuse while driving
- Reduce the risk of personal injury and property damage
- Strengthen the trust of customers and passengers
- Increase the transport sector’s awareness about drink-driving
- Demonstrate commitment to road safety
The buses equipped with this system have covered about 10.4 million km. The measurement data are stored in the memory of the equipment and are not transmitted directly to a control centre, as is the case with “black boxes” for example. They are only downloaded in the event of road accidents or suspicion that the driver is using alcohol on duty. Sampling of the systems did not reveal any violations. The drivers involved in the experiment never exceeded the alcohol level required by the Highway Code (0.0 g/l) for professional drivers and company regulations. According to the draft proposal, offenders driving with a BAC from 0.8 g/l to 1.5 g/l will have to install an alcohol interlock for 2 years, and 3 years with a BAC above 1.5 g/l.
This new legal proposal to introduce alcohol interlocks came from the CNEL (The National Council for Economics and Labor), a state body with the power to propose new legislation, and has been presented to the House of Representatives of the Italian Parliament, marking the first step on the road to adoption. The amendments would supplement article 186 and article 125 of the Italian Driving Code.