"If you lose your licence and you live in rural Ireland, you really are screwed. People in rural areas do not have the public transport options that those in urban areas have access to. We don't even have taxis down here," she said.
An Garda Síochána says it continues to focus on the offences that contribute most significantly to road traffic collisions, and in particular the offences of driving while intoxicated and speeding.
"There is no place on our roads for people who do not comply with legislation; these people are putting not only their own lives at risk but also the lives of all other road users," a spokesperson said.
Under new drink-driving legislation, anyone caught over the limit faces being put off the road automatically.
But it was widely reported that rural Fine Gael ministers were met with a backlash from constituents during the Christmas recess after Minister Shane Ross's drink-driving clampdown resulted in the tolerance level for drink-driving further reduced.
The debate was reopened last weekend when Finian McGrath made his controversial comments around "political policing" and the enforcement of drink-driving laws. Mr McGrath's comments were soon followed by demands for his resignation from the families of road victims.
Christina Donnelly, who lost her son Brendan in a 2009 crash caused by a drunk driver, said she was "incensed" by the comments.
Figures from the Road Safety Authority show alcohol is a factor in 39pc of all driver fatalities in Ireland.
While Mr McGrath apologised directly to his Cabinet colleagues for his controversial remarks about gardaí, he was roundly criticised from all quarters in print, across the airwaves and online.
However, a significant number of texts into the radio shows that discussed the issue during the week, and reaction on social media, were supportive of his stance.
The fact is, regardless of its merits, the tougher stance on drink-driving has not gone down well in rural Ireland, and TDs from constituencies outside the pale know it.
Indeed, the Minister of State Seán Canney publicly said gardaí should focus on other crimes instead of stopping motorists.
For rural dwellers, there are no viable options when going to the pub on a Saturday night or getting a lift home.
And many rural people retain the mindset they can have a few pints and drive home safely. It is in this context that our policymakers face a challenge to convince rural Ireland that the stricter rules are there for their benefit too.
According to Ms de Vere Hunt, the fear of getting caught drink-driving has seen farmers going out to pubs less and instead turning to the mart as a social outlet.
An Garda Síochána pledged that "activity across the country continues to focus on the offences that contribute most significantly to road traffic collisions, and in particular the offences of driving while intoxicated and speeding".