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Business News/ News / World/  This country offers free taxi rides for party-goers too drunk to drive home
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This country offers free taxi rides for party-goers too drunk to drive home

Italy tests free taxi service to combat drunk driving. Trial initiative offers intoxicated individuals rides home from nightclubs.

Italy exerts a special allure in the English-speaking world and beyond: superficially as accessible as it is delightful, and yet tinged with intrigue and mystery (Photo: Reuters)Premium
Italy exerts a special allure in the English-speaking world and beyond: superficially as accessible as it is delightful, and yet tinged with intrigue and mystery (Photo: Reuters)

There is no longer any justification for consuming alcohol excessively and then deciding to drive home, especially in Italy. The Italian government intends to initiate a trial initiative aimed at offering intoxicated individuals the opportunity to utilize complimentary taxi services.

Italy is currently testing a strategy to offer free taxi rides to party attendees as a means to reduce instances of drunk driving and mitigate fatal accidents. This trial initiative is set to continue until mid-September and will be implemented across six nightclubs in different regions of the country, ranging from Puglia to Tuscany and Veneto.

Within this program, individuals who appear inebriated upon exiting these venues will undergo an alcohol test.

Should their test results exceed the legal limit, a taxi will be summoned to transport them home. The funding for this endeavor is being supplied by the transportation ministry, with the endorsement of Matteo Salvini, who serves as Italy's transport minister, deputy prime minister, and leader of the hard-Right League party.

It is further reported that funding for the program will be provided by Deputy PM Matteo Salvini who is also the Transport Minister in the Italian government. "Free taxis at the end of the night for those who have drunk too much," he wrote on X, the micro-blogging platform which was previously called Twitter.

Although driving under the influence is against the law in Italy too, the nation has witnessed numerous accidents and situations involving individuals who were driving despite being intoxicated. Therefore, the government in Italy intends to introduce an innovative complimentary taxi service for individuals who are under the influence.

Despite the presence of strong disincentives like substantial fines and penalties, these measures have not effectively curbed unfortunate occurrences. Now, the introduction of the free cab service has the potential to alter the situation positively.

Drink driving represents a “serious problem" in Italy, according to a 2020 report by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) but surveys have shown that the level of acceptance of drunk driving in Italy is high compared to other EU countries.

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Published: 10 Aug 2023, 09:09 AM IST
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