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Saturday 27 May 2017

Cutting drink-drive limit 'no cure-all'

Stephen Maguire

A CORONER says he is not convinced the proposed reduction in drink-driving limits will have any affect on road carnage.

Dr Denis McCauley, a GP from Ballybofey, Co Donegal, says plans to reduce drink-driving limits to 50 mg of alcohol to 100ml of blood in the autumn under the Road Traffic Act 2010 could be a costly exercise and will lead to social exclusion in rural Ireland.

He said he wants to see a "cost-benefit analysis" for the reduction, saying an awful lot of money has to be spent getting it down.

"I do not want the message to go out that I am condoning someone going out and having three pints and then jumping into their car.

"What I want is debate that will prove we need this reduction. If the statistics show that a reduction from 80mgs to 50mgs will have a major impact, then I will be the first to hold my hands up and support it," he said.

Dr McCauley also says one of the reasons why he wants the proposed reduction debated is because he feels it has a very negative affect on social interaction in rural Ireland. "We are not just talking about the farmer having a pint-and-a-half -- we are talking about the general community, me and you.

"I don't think enough consideration has been given to the negative effect it will have on the social fabric of rural Ireland and that's one of the reasons why I think it should be debated ," he said.

Sunday Independent

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