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It’s official — new drunken driving laws in Italy could land you in jail.

Italy’s parliament this month approved strict changes to road rules after ending a 60-day trial period that began in August.

The changes are a result of the government’s response to a rash of alcohol-related incidents, many fatal, on Italian roadways earlier in the year.

Anyone who drives in Italy is subject to the nation’s law, including U.S. and NATO servicemembers, civilians and their families.

In August, the Italian ministries of transportation, interior, and justice and health introduced the stiff penalty increases, subject to the 60-day trial period. Parliament approved the changes Oct. 2.

A blood-alcohol level of more than 0.05 percent is considered legally intoxicated in Italy. That does not change, but the penalties for exceeding it, including jail time, do.

According to the federal police official Web site, here are the new penalties:

Drivers with a blood-alcohol level of 0.05 to 0.08 face fines ranging from 500 euros to 2,000 euros and suspension of driver’s license for three months to six months;Drivers with a blood-alcohol level between 0.08 and 0.15 face fines ranging from 800 euros to 3,200 euros, confinement of up to three months and suspension of driver’s license for six months to one year;Drivers with a blood-alcohol level exceeding 0.15 face fines ranging from 1,500 to 6,000 euro, confinement of up to six months and suspension of driver’s license for up to two years.Drivers refusing to have their blood-alcohol tested face fines from 2,500 euros to 10,000 euros (or 3,000 euros to 12,000 euros if there was an accident), suspension of driver’s license for 6 months to 2 years and car impounded for 6 months.Italy’s driving system is based on a point system, in which drivers get an annual allotment of 20 points. Infractions cause points to be deducted. Drivers will receive a 10-point deduction for drunken-driving infractions, or the full 20-point deduction and loss of license if they’ve had a license for less than three years.

Those caught more than once in a two-year period, or those who hold a professional license, such as a bus or truck driver, can have licenses revoked, not merely suspended, for a minimum of 10 days and must appeal for reinstatement through the local prefecture.

Drunken drivers involved in a vehicular accident will have vehicles impounded for 90 days.

Details, in Italian, are on the federal police Web site: www.poliziadistato.it/pds/stradale/etilometro/il_codice.htm.

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