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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Michele Shah

Italy's new drink-drive regulations have reduced the limit of alcohol from 0.8 milligrams (mg) of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood to 0.5mg, equal to about two glasses of wine. The amendment, approved by Italy's Minister of Transport, Pietro Lunardi, came into force at the beginning of August. According to Giuseppe Vaccarini, president of the Sommelier Worldwide Association and Italy's Associazione Italiana Sommeliers (AIS), the new limit is too low. The real threat to road safety is the combination of hard liquor and drugs consumed in discotheques on Saturday nights,' he said. AIS has launched a petition in collaboration with Italy's main wine associations - Assoenologi, Unione Italiana Vini, Slow Food, Vinarius, Gambero Rosso, Club di Papillon, WineNews and ONAV, published in Corriere della Sera and La Repubblica - appealing to public opinion. The petition, which organisers hope will attract 100,000 signatures, will be presented to the Ministry of Transport in December.