Are Ireland's New Drinking & Driving Permits Totally Insane?

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St. Patrick may have driven the snakes out of Ireland, but we think we'll be staying off the roads anyway, now that a controversial proposal that would allow drivers in County Kerry to get behind the wheel while intoxicated is on the table.

The measure, passed by a vote of five Kerry County Council board members to three, would see the issuing of special permits to rural drivers even after they've imbibed roughly two to three drinks. Would you like that Guinness to go?

Ironically, the radical new policy is intended to save lives, not put them at risk, according to independent councillor (and, er, pub owner) Danny Healy-Rae, who tabled the measure. Healy-Rae argues that allowing drivers the freedom to drink would encourage social interactions at the pub, as opposed to "looking at four walls."

"They're travelling in very minor roads, often on tractors, with very little traffic and it's not right they're being treated the same as the rest of the travelling public and they have never killed anyone," he argues. "The only outlet they have then is to take home a bottle of whiskey and they're falling into depression, and suicide for some of them is the sad way out."

What do you think? Should different rules apply to rural communities that are sparsely populated, or is this a slippery slope that's only going to end in disaster? Weigh in in the comments. (Guardian)

Photo: Via Guardian

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