Irish County: Drinking and Driving OK on Rural Roads

By coincidence, Kerry politician who introduced measure is a pub owner

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 22, 2013 4:31 PM CST | Updated Jan 26, 2013 7:00 PM CST

(Newser) – Ireland's scenic County Kerry wants police to lighten up on this drinking-and-driving thing. The Kerry council backed a measure this week to allow people in rural areas to be able to knock back "two or three" pints at the local pub and drive home worry-free, reports the Guardian. The council member who introduced the legislation just happens to be a pub owner, but he swears this is all about mental health, particularly for older people:

  • "They're traveling in very minor roads, often on tractors, with very little traffic and it's not right they're being treated the same as the rest of the traveling public, and they have never killed anyone," says Danny Healy-Rae.

The nation's tough DWI laws mean they have to stay home "looking at four walls," which leads to depression and suicide, he says. The 5-3 vote (19 members either abstained or skipped it entirely) means that the county will formally ask Ireland's justice minister to allow people to drive home from pubs "after having two or three drinks on little-used roads driving at very low speeds," reports the Irish Independent. No word on the chances of success, but the nation's road-safety chief calls the idea "unthinkable."

An Irish road, sans drunken drivers.   (Shutterstock)
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