Monday 25 September 2017

Drink drive issue opened an urban-rural divide

(Stock picture)
(Stock picture)
John Downing

John Downing

The real "Irish question" - just where can you get a pint on Good Friday? - appears resolved. But other questions related to the demon drink which can still dwarf many other political issues remain with us.

The Road Traffic (Fixed Penalty-Drink Driving) Bill 2017 has raised temperatures "for" and "against" with a pronounced urban-rural divide. This is another piece of law being pushed by Shane Ross, which has been long-fingered until September, though this one looks to be at serious risk of falling down the cracks altogether.

The party politics here are complex: Fianna Fáil is against it; Sinn Féin is in favour; Labour is thinking things over; and Fine Gael may be wobbling its way towards newly minted Taoiseach Leo Varadkar's first "free vote". The Independents can by definition make up their own minds - but watch the Government members of the Independent Alliance whose kingpin, Shane Ross, is driving this one as Transport Minister.

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