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Sunday 28 May 2017

Healy-Rae drink-drive remarks unreasonable - unless you're a publican

Danny Healy-Rae
Danny Healy-Rae

The new drink-driving laws, which will make it illegal to have more than a glass of beer in your system, have been criticised by Danny Healy-Rae TD.

"You have a case when a fella is going home on his own side of the road, driving with a pint or maybe two or three glasses, and then a lunatic comes down the other side of the road doing 100mph and runs into him," he said.

"There's a fatality to the fella with the pint and the half-pint - he's blamed then."

His comments merits some consideration, encapsulating as they do more than one misconception.

First, if someone is driving at 100mph on the wrong side of the road, they will be convicted of an offence regardless of whether the other driver has been drinking.

The person doing 100mph is the one who'll be blamed.

Second, if you're over the limit, you're never an "innocent party".

Sober

Alcohol consumption diminishes your ability to react to dangerous situations.

It is simple common sense that drivers - and any passengers they might have with them - have a better chance of avoiding an incident if they're stone cold sober rather than having had "two or three pints". There's the belief that underpins Healy-Rae's argument - that rural people are somehow obliged to go out boozing.

"The only outlet they had was to come to the pub and have the three glasses," he said.

But what's stopping someone going to the pub and enjoying the social interaction involved without necking pints?

There's no reasonable answer to this, unless you're a publican whose living depends on people drinking alcohol, and the more the merrier.

A publican like Danny Healy-Rae, for example.

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