Kerry County, Ireland – Please don’t let this shake your faith in the wisdom of local government.
County councillors in Ireland approved a motion that would allow local police to issue what apparently amounts to drunk driving permits for people who have imbibed the equivalent of two or three drinks.
According to Danny Healy-Rae, the the lawmaker who proposed the motion, the permit would apply to mostly older persons who are suffering from depression because they are isolated at home out in the country with no social life.
The motion passed yesterday by a vote of 5-3.
Councillor Healy-Rae explained his proposal to The Journal:
“A lot of these people are living in isolated rural areas where there’s no public transport of any kind, and they end up at home looking at the four walls, night in and night out, because they don’t want to take the risk of losing their license.”
Kerrry County Mayor Terry O’Brien had an alternative view according to the BBC: “It is incredibly dangerous. I don’t know how anybody can be allowed to say: ‘You’ve had two pints, so you’re justified to drive.’ ”
The Journal website reports that seven councillors abstained from voting on the motion and another 12 weren’t even in the room. It will be up to Ireland’s justice department to implement the council’s proposal assuming it doesn’t get reversed. The BBC notes that some of the councillors voting yes were pub owners.
Kerry County is located in southwest Ireland. According to the BBC, almost “almost one in three crash deaths in Ireland is alcohol-related.”
Councillor Healy-Rae claims that in rural sections of Ireland, the pub is the only social outlet for constituents to interact with friends and neighbors of all ages.
Do you think this is a suitable and/or harmless justification for a so-called drunk driving permit or to relax the legal limit for drunk driving?