Drink drive pro­posal shows con­tempt

Bray People - - THE NOTEBOOK -

ITHOUGHT it was some sort of taste­less joke to learn of the mo­tion car­ried at Kerry County Coun­cil last week that mem­bers will lobby the Min­is­ter for Jus­tice to grant per­mits to ru­ral dwellers to drink and drive.

I am sim­ply ap­palled that any self re­spect­ing pub­lic rep­re­sen­ta­tive would pro­pose such a thing and even more shocked that pub­li­can, namely Cllr. Danny Healy-Rae would think it a wise move.

The Healy-Raes have al­ways been very suc­cess­ful at head­line grab­bing and this week is no dif­fer­ent. There are a hun­dred dif­fer­ent opin­ions on his ar­gu­ment that those liv­ing in iso­lated ar­eas should be per­mit­ted to drink two or three pints and drive home. This in it­self shows ut­ter con­tempt to so many fam­i­lies in Ire­land who have lost loved ones on the roads to the scourge of drunk driv­ing.

All the ev­i­dence points to the fact that even one drink im­pairs judge­ment and is not a wise move whether the roads are quiet or not, whether they drive slowly or not. The laws are in place for a rea­son and no­body should be ex­empt from them.

All over Ire­land, es­pe­cially within younger groups the ed­u­ca­tion has been very much taken on board and des­ig­nated drivers, hack­neys, taxis and hi-vis jack­ets are all utilised to en­sure that safety is para­mount where drink­ing is con­cerned. Yet there is a cer­tain sec­tion of so­ci­ety adamant in flout- ing the laws and get­ting be­hind the wheel hav­ing con­sumed al­co­hol.

I'm sur­prised that 12 coun­cil­lors failed to turn up for the vote and would have pre­ferred them to at­tend and clearly out­line their opin­ions on such a rad­i­cal pro­posal. No­body can deny that ru­ral ar­eas have been af­fected by new drink driv­ing laws and it's a well known fact that there are sadly many older peo­ple, men in par­tic­u­lar that view the pub as their only so­cial out­let.

If Cllr. Healy-Rae really wanted to ad­dress this is­sue and make a pos­i­tive change then there are much bet­ter ways of go­ing about it than the ridicu­lous mo­tion tabled.If iso­la­tion is the prob­lem or lack of trans­port then fundraise for a com­mu­nity taxi, lobby com­pa­nies to re­duce rates and ex­pand their ser­vices.

Of course there is also the shock­ing sug- ges­tion that per­haps new forms of so­cial in­ter­ac­tion could be cre­ated that don't be­gin and end with al­co­hol.

Cllr. Healy-Rae would be much bet­ter served coming up with more sen­si­ble so­lu­tions to the prob­lem as he out­lined it than try­ing to feather his own nest as a busi­ness­man while look­ing for votes.

In­de­pen­dent coun­cil­lor Danny Healy-Rae has called for a change in the law to al­low peo­ple liv­ing in ru­ral ar­eas to drink and drive.

DEB­O­RAH COLE­MAN

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