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Can I drink and drive in Italy?

I know the idea seems absurd. I know that this post can cause astonishment, but - believe me - this is one of the questions I get most from those who intend to travel through Italy by car. Shall we know more about it?

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Can I drink and drive in Italy?

People, I know that the question sounds absurd. Who, in its right mind, would ask something like that? However, one of the questions I get most from those who want to use a rental car to travel in Italy is “Can I drink and drive in Italy?” It is obvious that we already know the answer to this question, but let’s get to the post so I can tell EVERYTHING about this subject to you! Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patriciayou make the trip of your dreams!!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”


First, I would like to start this post by explaining his objective: I know that the idea (and the question!) Leaves anyone astonished, but many, many, many people ask me if they can drink and drive in Italy, especially those wants to do the itinerary of the wine route in Tuscany, which requires the use of the car, as it does not offer a good option for public transport. However, right at the beginning, I will give you the answer to this question: DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE! Not in Italy or anywhere in the world! DO NOT DO THIS! Be responsible, have common sense and, under no circumstances, under any circumstances, do this. NEVER! Do not jeopardize your safety and that of others by having a glass of wine!

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As I said in other posts…

If there is something that works very well in Italy, it is the law! Italy has no ‘pity’ to enforce the law with anyone! Over the years, Italy has tightened its traffic laws even more, especially for drivers who drive with alcohol in their bodies; and the consequences can even go to prison terms! In 2016, Italy also decreed that if a person is involved in a car accident, kills someone and has blood alcohol, he or she can be prosecuted for manslaughter.

Table of alcohol values present in the body in accordance with Italian law …

However, it is good to know that in Italy you are considered able to drive if the alcohol level in the body does not exceed 0.5 g / liter (see table in the link below). OBVIOUSLY, the level of alcohol in the blood varies from person to person; it involves factors such as sex, metabolism, age and how much food was eaten with the alcohol. However, since nobody carries a breathalyzer in his pocket all the time, there is no way of knowing you are below the legal limit or not, so it is always better safe than sorry. I REINFORCE: DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE!


Who can stop you in Italy for inspection? What if I don’t want to take a breathalyzer test?

The police and carabinieri (and, in general, all forces of the Italian order) have full authority to stop vehicles for random inspections, such as breathalyzer tests! In fact, especially on weekends, it is VERY common to find roadblocks at the entrance and exit of some cities, as well as in the center! Both the police and carabinieri (in addition to other Italian authorities) may ask you to take a breathalyzer test to find out the driver’s blood alcohol level. In Italy, there are two types of tests to check alcohol in individuals’ bodies:


Where the person blows a balloon connected to a machine that measures the amount of ethanol in the exhaled air. In Italy it is common for police officers to ask for a ‘confirmation test’, that is, for the test to be repeated after five minutes, regardless of the result.

Blood test

It is good to know that, if there are no breathalyzers available in the vehicle (which is difficult, but depending on the time of year, it can happen!), The police can take you to a hospital for the blood test to be performed.

Important to know

In Italy, there is NO option to refuse, that is, you are obliged to take the test; if you insist and refuse to take the test, the consequence of the refusal leads to a record of serious infraction, and it is NOT DISCARDED conducing you to the nearest police station! Yes, you run the risk of being arrested; moreover, you will be punished as if you had the highest level of alcohol in your body, even if you don’t! If you thought “I don’t speak Italian and I will pretend I don’t understand”, don’t try it! Just in case, they choose the most rigorous option, with no ceremony; so, if you are stopped by the police, collaborate!

What are the penalties for drinking and driving in Italy?

In addition to the penalties already mentioned, such as – in some cases – imprisonment and manslaughter in case of accident with a victim, the penalties for those who insist on drinking and driving start with the ‘minimum’ blood alcohol level of 0.5 g / liter and are as follows:

From 0.5 to 0.8 g / l

Fine of 500 to 2000 euros in fine, withdrawal of driver’s license (in the case of foreigners, apprehension of the IDP) for 3 or 6 months; Also read all about the IDP by clicking here!

From 0.8 to 1.5 g / l

Fine of 800 to 3,200 euros, up to 6 months in prison and apprehension of the license, which can vary from 6 months to 1 year;

More than 1.5 g / l

Fine of 1,500 to 6,000 euros, from 6 months to 1 year in prison, apprehension of the license for 1 to 2 years, apprehension and confiscation of the vehicle, referral to the police station. The seizure and confiscation of the vehicle is only for holders of the means, that is, if the car is rented, it will go to a patio and can be taken out only by a representative of the company that rented the car to you. The company does not suffer a penalty. To understand better about driving in Italy, read also our Module 1 of the Definitive Guide to driving in Italy! and Module 2 of the Definitive Guide to driving in Italy!

I want to use the car, but I want to drink! What do I do?

Don’t use the car! Choose other means of transport such as taxi, train, bus, subway, transfer, private driver … There are a multitude of options, that is, you have no excuse to drink and drive! If you are accompanied, ask someone who does not drink to drive – as long as that person is of legal age and has the IDP.


People, Italian laws DO NOT make a difference between citizens and tourists! The laws are tough for EVERYONE and, in Italy, they WORK, especially the traffic laws! Do not delude yourself and do not believe that you will leave without any punishment if you get caught in the breathalyzer test, just because you are a foreigner! Isn’t that so, O.K.?

Golden Tips

Here are some of the options that I advise you to drink breezily and not go through disastrous situations on your trip. You can leave the car at the hotel to enjoy the day doing some Tours without worry;)

Private Tour

This type of tour is ideal for VIPs, who prefer comfort from the beginning to the end of the trip, ideal for small groups of friends, for families with children or for the elderly. This type of service guarantees absolute comfort for those who travel. Basically, you should only enjoy the tour without the stress of attending train, subway, bus schedules, or worrying about the dry law in Italy. Drink as much as you want and enjoy this VIP tour !!!!

Group Tour

This option is also wonderful for those who just want to enjoy the beauty of the places with safety, convenience and tranquility! The group tour is a perfect solution for those who do not want to spend so much, ideal for those who want to save money.

Lodging in Agritourism

How about driving straight to an Agritourism? I’m sure it will be a unique experience, as you will stay inside a resort hotel where everything is produced by the owners of the establishment. You will be able to enjoy the wines and food harvested on the land in a magical and unforgettable way! Not to mention the impressive landscapes that these accommodations offer.


  • The term “Enogastronomic” (you can also find it written as “enogastronomy”) means “gastronomy and wine tourism”. Essentially, it is an Italian word and, also, it is a “new” word and not very common “YET”! Get to know our section on food in Italy

Did you like my tips? So ask for a free budgeting and see how it is worth it;) Access Here!

Traveling by car in Italy

How about if I give you a rental car option? Are you ready for it? If you are renting a car be sure to read our posts in the section Driving in Italy on the blog Your Travel to Italy. In addition to car itinerary tips, we have everything about signage, tolls, roads and many more tips.

Don’t know where to rent the car?

We have a partner that can help you: Rent Cars! Have you ever thought about renting a car in Italy, without leaving your home? Click on the banner below to learn more! Search, compare and choose!


Watch this video and learn: 10 cities to visit in Italy

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Can I drink and drive in Italy? I know it seems absurd that we have to talk about this subject, but just in case, it is better to leave everything – always – very clear, right ?! What did we learn today? DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE! I’m sure that everyone is aware of the serious consequences that this can bring to those who act in this way and, many times, even to those who have nothing to do with the choices of each one, so, examine your conscience and do not push your luck, OK?

Are you insecure ?

And if you feel insecure or have no time, and need help to organize your trip, do not hesitate to look for me! I will love to help you make your dream trip to Italy. And how can I do that? Continue reading this post until the end and you will understand how can we make your life and journey easier.

Did my post help you? If yes, make sure to leave your comment below, but if you still have questions, just leave them as a comment below and I will reply, O.K.?

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