independent

Saturday 30 August 2014

I thought it was an early April Fool's joke - it's insane

Published 24/01/2013 | 13:44

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A BOHERBUE woman who is actively seeking to change the current drink driving legislation to bring it in line with other European countries said she was "horrified" at Cllr Danny Healy Rae's proposal to allow for gardai permits to be issued to elderly drivers in rural areas to have a drink or two over the legal limit.

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Aoidín Cronin of Gneeves, Boherbue has been actively working on the 'Brendan's Law' campaign - which is seeking the seizure of a private car once a breath test marks a failed reading, and mandatory sentencing for those convicted of death of another person when under the influence.

"At first I thought Cllr Danny Healy Rae's proposal was an early April's Fool joke, but then I was horrified to learn that it had actually been passed by Kerry County Council. What has been proposed and passed is simply outrageous and, in short, insane," said Ms Cronin.

Brendan Donnelly lost his life in October 2009, along with his friend Lee Salkeld, when the car they were travelling in was hit by another, driven by a 29 year old after a 24-hour binge on drink and drugs. The driver had consumed a stupendous amount of alcohol, plus cocaine.

He was later sentenced to five years and disqualified from driving for 15 years after killing both young men.

However, at the court case, Christina Donnelly, Brendan's mother, was shocked to learn that the driver had a previous conviction for drink driving and, despite leaving the scene of her son's crash, was able to continue driving right up until the day of his trial.

Christine is actively campaigning for 'Brendan's Law, under which drivers who fail a breath test have their licences automatically suspended

"The mortality rate on our roads has fallen in recent years due to the excellent work by the Gardai, effective campaigns by the RSA and stiffer penalties," said Aoidín Cronin. "Cllr Healy Rae's proposal has now undermined all of this and would mark a dangerous step backwards regarding our already questionable drink driving laws."

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