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Italians know how to party. They obviously also know how to put in place strong measures, in order to limit the risk of accidents involving partygoers who have drunk too much and borrow their car to return home. Thus, free taxis are set up for partygoers who have drunk too much, leaving a nightclub.
This measure has been in experimentation since this summer, by the Italian government of Giorgia Meloni (Brothers of Italy, far-right transalpine). Transport Minister Matteo Salvini introduced it. In practice, here’s how it works.
Customers must take a blood alcohol test when they leave the club. If the alcohol level is too high (0.5 g/l of blood over the age of 21, as in France), the managers of the establishment issue a free transport voucher. The latter allows you to take a free taxi, which brings the revelers in question home safely.
A hidden alcohol subsidy, with few beneficiaries?
Still, this decision is controversial. Some argue that it is a kind of hidden subsidy to alcohol and drinking. These decisions are also binding for the owners of the nightclubs, who must trace the exits of their establishment and control each person.
For the moment, this measure has, moreover, obviously not found a large audience. Indeed, in a nightclub near Venice taken as an example by France info, a dozen taxis are called per weekend to accompany around twenty people. Even though the establishment welcomes nearly 4,000 partygoers over the same period.
It remains to be seen what cost this will have and whether this measure will ultimately be adopted. The latter has until September 15 to prove itself in the country. To see how it will evolve and if it can inspire other similar measures in different countries.
It is in any case interesting that this measure is put in place by our neighbours, even though the sanctions linked to driving under the influence of alcohol have recently been reinforced in France. In Italy, road mortality for young people aged 18 to 30 has also increased considerably since the end of the Covid pandemic.
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To sum up
In Italy, the government is setting up free taxis to take partygoers who have drunk too much home. A measure that is controversial, especially because it is seen as a hidden subsidy for drinking and alcohol.