Italy is famous worldwide for its wine and yet most Italians consume alcohol in moderation, and always with food. The culture of binge or hobby drinking has not quite arrived on these shores.
Unfortunately that means that drink driving has never been strictly regulated, and to this day, it is still not a criminal offence. On the rare occasion that you are stopped for a breath test and found to be over the limit, it is even rumoured that you just need to nicely explain that you are on your way home from a family lunch, and there will be no sanctions!
Whether this is fact or fiction, the truth of the matter is that serious reforms to the drink driving laws and police controls need to occur in Italy.
A friend of Artviva is riding the Maratona delle Dolomiti with two other cyclist friends in an attempt to raise awareness (and funds) for a foundation attempting to obtain better and stricter legislation for driving in Italy, particularly in terms of punishment for drunk drivers (or lack thereof).
The founders of the foundation are the parents of a the 17-year-old boy who was killed in a car accident involving a drunk driver.
Fortunately, it appears they are being listened to and some real changes may in fact be put into place.
To raise money for the foundation, the riders are “selling” each of the kms they will ride (10 euro per km) with the idea that each km can represent one km less driven by drivers under the influence.
This is a cause which is close to our hearts, and we are struck by their initiative. If anyone else feels the same way, we encourage you to look at their site and of course, to get behind the initative.
(The site is in Italian, but thanks to http://www.translate.google.com you can read it in any language!)