DUI Penalties in Italy: Drunk Driving Law in Italy
DUI penalties in Italy are part of Article 186 of the Italian Highway Code.
The aforementioned Article punishes some behaviors by applying a
simple administrative penalty, while others may constitute a
More particularly, Article 186 provides for:
- an administrative penalty from ? 543 up to ? 2170, for blood-alcohol level above 0.5 and not exceeding 0.8 grams per liter (g/l), in conjunction with suspension of driving license for three to six months;
- a fine from ? 800 up to ? 3200 and imprisonment for up to six months, for blood-alcohol level above 0.8 and not exceeding 1.5 grams per liter (g/l), including an administrative penalty and ancillary suspension of driving license for six months up to one year;
- a fine from ? 1500 up to ? 6000 and imprisonment for six months up to one year, for blood-alcohol level higher than 1.5 grams per liter (g/l), including suspension of driving license for one year up to two years.
If the driver causes a road accident, penalties double, besides, an administrative detention of the vehicle for 180 days occurs, unless the vehicle belongs to a person unrelated to the offense.
The traffic police officers, in the presence of psychic-physical
alteration, have the right to carry out the assessment by using a
breathalyzer and in compliance with personal confidentiality and
without prejudice to physical integrity (alcohol test).
Unless the fact constitutes a more serious offense, the driver
who refuses to be tested, is punished with a fine from ? 1,500 up
to ? 6,000, imprisonment from six months to one year, and
suspension of driving license from six months to two years. The
driving license will be revoked in case of repeated infringement in
the two-year period. Confiscation of the vehicle will also occur,
unless the vehicle belongs to a person unrelated to the
On this point, it is important to pay attention to the decision
made by the Supreme Court regarding the obligation of police
officers to inform the driver of the right to be assisted by a
The lack of this information results in the nullity of the penal
sanction and confiscation of vehicle.
This information is only due in the presence of a blood-alcohol
level above the threshold of criminal relevance. Therefore, if
blood-alcohol level is less than 0.8 grams per liter, an individual
does not have the right to be assisted by the defender.
In case the blood-alcohol level is higher than 0.8 g/l, the
driver is reported and the agents, after having drawn up the
report, transmit it to the Public Prosecutor's Office
responsible for the area.
However, the agents are not obliged to wait for the arrival of the lawyer to perform the breathalyzer test, as the test is considered "an urgent and undelayable judicial police act", which requires officers to proceed promptly, given the possibility of compromising test results with the passing of time.
DUI Penalties in Italy: Aggravated Drunk Driving in Italy
The regulation on aggravated drunk driving in
Italy identifies some circumstances that may result in
aggravating the crime. More particularly, they are as
- causing a road accident;
- committing the offense during the night (between 10 pm and 7
Significantly heavier sanctions are applied if the offense is committed by:
- drivers under the age of 21 or drivers who just got their driving license;
- drivers who operate a rental service with driver (NCC);
- taxi drivers;
- drivers of a vehicle used for scheduled service for transportation of passengers;
- drivers dealing with transportation of goods;
- drivers of motor vehicles with a total laden mass exceeding 3.5 tons, of buses and other motor vehicles intended for transportation of passengers with a number of seats exceeding eight (not considering the driver's seat), as well as drivers of articulated vehicles.
DUI Penalties in Italy: The Anti-corruption Law
It is worth mentioning the significant novelty introduced by the
anti-corruption law, that is, starting from January 1, 2020, the
prescription of crime of DUI driving no longer exists.
Indeed, the prescription is suspended by the first degree
sentence or by the conviction decree, without making a distinction
between conviction and acquittal. In any case, the trial and a
sentence are performed.
DUI Penalties in Italy: The Particular Tenuousness of the
According to settled case law, the reasons for
non-punishability due to particular tenuousness of the offense,
finds recognition also in the specific case of the offense referred
to in Article 186 of the Italian Highway Code (i. e. CdS),
except for those cases in which conditions impeding the granting of
the benefit are met, focusing in particular on the habituality of
In this context, the particularly tenuous offense will be assessed by the Judge according to three categories of indicators: the manner of conduct, the insignificance of the damage or danger, the degree of culpability.
DUI Penalties in Italy: We Can Assist You
Arnone&Sicomo International Law Firm provides criminal
defense in Italy for drunk driving. We have DUI lawyers in Italy
that assist all those individuals who have been reported for
driving under the influence of alcohol.
Our criminal lawyers follow all stages of criminal proceedings
in Italy, and recommend the best defense strategy.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.