Drunk sailing to be banned in Venice

It has been illegal to drive under influence in Italy for ages, but not in Venice. In Venice they don’t drive, they sail, and in Italy is hasn’t been illegal to sail a boat while drunk or under the influence of drugs.

This is about to change now.

An amendment to a law called “Milleproroghe” (“A thousand deferments”) will make it illegal to sail a recreational boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, for the first time ever. Offenders can lose their license to sail and be fined up to €8000.

The senator who proposed the amendment, said:

Finally there will be controls and sanctions to avoid that those who sail any kind of vessel, from a zodiac of a few metres to a large recreational ship, do so in a state of drunkenness or under the effect of intoxicating substances or drugs.

… It is unusual but in our country, in spite of the many and tragic events we read about each summer in the newspapers, until today there hasn’t been any law prohibiting the skipper of a recreational boat to sail in a state of drunkenness or under the influence of drugs.

In most of Italy this is mostly an issue of safety around the many recreational ports, but in Venice boats are a central part of everyday life for a large part of the population, and the impact of the law will probably be felt more there. Also, enforcement of the law will probably be a lot stricter in Venice than elsewhere.

(none of the people on the photos were under the influence of alcohol or drugs).

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