independent

Tuesday 30 May 2017

Drinking and driving is never acceptable

How can Danny Healy-Rae or anyone support the notion that people would be allowed to consume ‘a few drinks’ and then get behind the wheel?
How can Danny Healy-Rae or anyone support the notion that people would be allowed to consume ‘a few drinks’ and then get behind the wheel?

Deborah Coleman - Straight Talking

You can't beat the Healy-Raes for championing rural Ireland, however misplaced their beliefs are.

Last week the newest member of the family to take his seat in Dáil Éireann raised an issue previously raised by his brother Michael and late father Jackie many times before - drink driving laws and their effect on rural society.

Healy-Rae claims that 'nobody ever died in a road accident after three glasses of Guinness'. I have never heard a more ridiculous argument in all my life.

How can anyone support the notion that drinkers would be allowed to consume 'a few drinks' and then get behind the wheel?

The legal limit of 50 mg of alcohol to 100 ml of blood is there for a reason - and mostly it facilitates a person enjoying a single social drink while still being able to drive safely.

This limit is in place to protect all road users, not to steal the joy of rural folk.

While years ago, the laws were not in place to prevent drinking and driving, they are now and it is the responsibility of every motorist on the roads to obey them.

Anyone who, at one stage of their lives might have been in the habit of having a drink and then driving home, is going to have to come to terms with the fact that those days are gone and no matter what Danny Healy-Rae or anyone like him says, it is not a safe practice.

Alcohol is a factor in many road accidents and there is no doubt that it is better to make alternative arrangements rather than risk the life of yourself and others.

Why can Healy-Rae not see this? I don't know how he could look the loved ones of these people in the eye.

He portrays an image of a bunch of flat-capped old men sitting in a bar down a rural boreen sipping a single Guinness each for the night.

This is not reality. The reality is that when those who like a drink and who don't have access to public transport or a lift hear their TDs advocating drink driving - they think it's okay to do so - and they have more than one and in turn take to the roads inebriated.

It is an insult to everyone else who arranges transport, walks or simply agrees to stick to soft drinks and drive to see others blatantly drinking and driving.

For every person who makes every attempt to be safe, there is another who thinks the law doesn't apply to them.

Fingal Independent

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