'Drunk Driving Permits' Approved By Irish County - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

'Drunk Driving Permits' Approved By Irish County

Posted: Updated:
PHOTO: MSN PHOTO: MSN

MSN - If you live in County Kerry, Ireland, go ahead and have that drink before you head home from the bar. Heck, have two! The county city council has approved a motion to allow drunken driving, because even their booziest boozehounds are traveling on "very minor roads" and "have never killed anyone."

Councilman Danny Healy-Rae (who, conveniently, also owns a pub) presented the motion, arguing that allowing people to drink and drive will prevent depression and suicide, since drinkers get loaded with their friends instead of drinking alone at home. Not everyone shares his enthusiasm. "Depression causes suicide," one councilwoman said. "It's not caused by not being able to go to the pub."

This article is from MSN.com

More Information From The Huffington Post:

The Kerry County Council in southwest Ireland has passed a controversial measure that could make it legal for some rural drivers to get behind the wheel after knocking back a few stiff drinks.

While only three council members voted "no" on the proposed legislation, five apparently support the creation of special permits for driving in sparsely populated areas while intoxicated, according to the Guardian.

Nationwide, Ireland has been cracking down on drunken driving, according to Irish news outlet Independent.ie, which reports that drivers are now allowed only 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, "equivalent to drinking less than one pint of beer." But permits proposed in the Kerry measure would allow rural residents to consume "two or three drinks," per the Guardian.

Councillor Danny Healy-Rae , who spearheaded the motion, claimed that citizens drinking and driving in rural areas had "never killed anyone" and argued that the permits would actually help prevent "a lot of them falling into depression," reports Irish news site TheJournal.ie.

Healy-Rae also owns a pub in County Kerry, according to the Guardian.

"A lot of these people are living in isolated rural areas where there's no public transport of any kind, and they end up at home looking at the four walls, night in and night out, because they don't want to take the risk of losing their licence," Healy-Rae told TheJournal.ie.

The website also noted that 12 Kerry councillors were not present at the time of voting, and that seven abstained from voting on the measure.

The council's measure is only the first step for proponents of the plan, however. The council still has to petition Justice Minister Alan Shatter to issue the special permits, reports the Independent.

County Kerry's move prompted harsh criticism from Noel Brett, chief executive of the Road Safety Authority in Ireland.

"It is unthinkable that we would go back to a system that sought to increase our drink-drive limit," Brett told Independent.ie. "We have made substantial progress in Ireland in reducing deaths and injuries on our roads, particularly in rural areas which are hardest hit by road fatalities and injuries."

The BBC reports that alcohol awareness organization Alcohol Action Ireland also moved quickly to condemn Healy-Rae's motion by noting that "almost one in three crash deaths in Ireland is alcohol-related."

Alcohol Action spokesman Conor Cullen disputed Healy-Rae's claim that drunken driving laws are leading to the increased isolation and depression of older, rural Irish citizens.

"It should be noted that the link between alcohol use and suicide has been well established and alcohol will exacerbate, not alleviate any mental health difficulties that a person may be struggling with, such as depression or anxiety," Cullen told the BBC. "Those in rural areas who may be suffering from isolation will not benefit from putting their lives and the lives of the other members of their community at risk by drinking and driving."

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Remembering Beau Weiher: Montana man dies in Glacier National Park

    Remembering Beau Weiher: Montana man dies in Glacier National Park

    Monday, September 15 2014 5:01 PM EDT2014-09-15 21:01:41 GMT
    WEST GLACIER, Mont. (AP) - A 22-year-old Montana man has died, possibly after attempting an illegal BASE jump in Glacier National Park. The National Park Service was notified at Saturday night that Beau Weiher, of Missoula, was overdue from a solo day hike in the Many Glacier Area.>>
    WEST GLACIER, Mont. (AP) - A 22-year-old Montana man has died, possibly after attempting an illegal BASE jump in Glacier National Park. The National Park Service was notified at Saturday night that Beau Weiher, of Missoula, was overdue from a solo day hike in the Many Glacier Area.>>
  • First date ends with man dead, woman hospitalized

    First date ends with man dead, woman hospitalized

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 9:44 AM EDT2014-09-16 13:44:21 GMT
    TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - Pierce County sheriff's detectives know this much: a first date ended with a Gig Harbor, Washington, man dead and his date hospitalized in critical condition.The News Tribune reports that investigators think the 47-year-old Port Orchard woman ran over her date, then crashed his truck 15 feet down an embankment.>>
    TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - Pierce County sheriff's detectives know this much: a first date ended with a Gig Harbor, Washington, man dead and his date hospitalized in critical condition.The News Tribune reports that investigators think the 47-year-old Port Orchard woman ran over her date, then crashed his truck 15 feet down an embankment.
    >>
  • WATCH: Rarely seen 9/11 Budweiser commercial that aired only once

    WATCH: Rarely seen 9/11 Budweiser commercial that aired only once

    Thursday, September 11 2014 8:52 PM EDT2014-09-12 00:52:54 GMT
    KHQ.COM - This Budweiser commercial was produced after the September 11th terrorist attacks. However, it hasn't been widely seen because Budweiser only aired it once so as not to benefit financially from it - they just wanted to acknowledge the tragic event.>>
    KHQ.COM - This Budweiser commercial was produced after the September 11th terrorist attacks. However, it hasn't been widely seen because Budweiser only aired it once so as not to benefit financially from it - they just wanted to acknowledge the tragic event.>>