A County in Ireland Sets to Allow Drunk Driving Permits for Isolated Areas

Having “two or three drinks” and driving is acceptable in Kerry County

By on January 23rd, 2013 09:43 GMT

The Kerry County Council in Ireland approves of drivers having “two or three drinks” and getting behind the wheel, as long as they drive on “very minor roads.”

According to the Guardian, they just passed a motion that legally permits drivers to drive while slightly intoxicated, when they are crossing rural, isolated areas.

Counselor Danny Healy-Rae suggests that the measure would help with lowering depression and mental illness rates, eventually leading to fewer suicides.

“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.

“The only outlet they have then is to take home a bottle of whiskey and they're falling into depression, and suicide for some of them is the sad way out,” Healy-Rae, owner of the Kilgarvan pub in Kerry County, stresses.

He dubs it a remedy for those who are “looking at four walls” because they do not live in densely populated areas.

Irish Labour counselor Gillian Wharton-Slattery disagrees. She believes drinking does not prevent suicidal thoughts.

“Depression causes suicide. It's not caused by not being able to go to the pub. There's more things to do in Kilgarvan than go into your pub,” she argues.

“There is very strong evidence which makes an irrefutable link between the consumption of alcohol and impairment,” says Noel Brett, head of Ireland's Road Safety Authority. He adds that the country's most deaths and serious injuries resulting from DUIs occur in rural areas.

Nonetheless, the county council passed the motion with 5 to 3 votes, with 8 other members either absent or abstaining from the vote.

This piece of legislation paves the way for Kerry to issue permits for what some describe as drunk or at least fairly tipsy driving.

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