Pull Over, Father

Irish clergy oppose new drunk driving standard, fearing it would rule out communion
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2007 5:08 PM CDT
A priest holds a cup of of wine at mass in this undated photo. Irish priests are carping about a plan to drop drivers%u2019 legal blood alcohol level to .05, so low that communion wine might make clergymen...   ((c) anaelko)
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(Newser) – Irish priests are carping about a government proposal to lower the legal blood alcohol limit for drivers from .08 to .05, fearing that communion wine may make them legally drunk. “I don't like to use the word wine, as it is Christ's blood,” says one priest, “but it still has all the characteristics of wine when in the blood stream.” Non-alcoholic vino is no option, he adds, for it requires case-by-case church approval. 

And with clergy in short supply, some drive long ways to do multiple masses. One priest told Der Spiegel that he'd flout the law if need be. “I often have three Masses to say in one day, and wine is probably now a factor that needs to be seriously considered," he said. "If a call comes in that somebody is nearing death, I have no choice but to drive where that person is and give him or her last rites."