Kerry County Council in the South West Ireland has come up with a novel idea to manage the problem of people driving whilst drunk, and that’s by making drinking legal! Under the proposed law, people would be issued permits that would entitle them to have two or three hard alcohol drinks and yet drive.
Danny Healy-Rae, the councillor proposed the idea over the current law wherein a single alcohol drink is permitted. He was in favor of the rules applying on elderly population, and he argued that the legal system in place was forcing the old people to stay at home.
“It’s like they are living in Jerusalem or Japan, losing out their enjoyable lifestyles to the youth. All the wisdom and wit, the culture and musical camaraderie is being suppressed with the current laws. A strict rule would work well on roads with heavy traffic, but these roads are very different. You can hardly do more than 20 to 30 miles per hour here, it is very different here.” he said to The Journal.ie website.
The motion was passed in a meeting that 12 councilors failed to attend. The Irish justice department will now be asked by the council to have a look at the plans. However, the probability of the council succeeding in changing the law looks remote. Whereas road safety campaigners have tagged the suggestion as ‘unthinkable’, Terry O’ Brien, the Mayor of Kerry, has dismissed the idea as ‘incredibly dangerous.’
There’s another side to the story that has attracted murmurs from the locals. Healy-Rae and a few more councillors who voted for the motion are pub owners in the region, and the passing of the law could mean more impetus to their businesses. However, Healy-Rae denied that he had any financial motivations in the voting.