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Two More for the Road in Ireland
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Two More for the Road in Ireland

01.28.13
Irish politicians are considering changes to drunken driving laws that would make it easier to drink a pint or two and drive. In the U.S., the topic would be political suicide.

Reminds us of a classic song performed by blues champion John Lee Hooker and famously covered by George Thorogood:

One bourbon, one scotch, one beer
Well I ain't seen my baby since I don't know when,
I've been drinking bourbon, whiskey, scotch and gin
Gonna get high man, I'm gonna get loose


Irish drunk driving laws make it a crime to drive with a blood intoxication level of .05%, compared to .08% in the U.S. For an average person, the U.S. limit is 2 or 3 drinks in an hour. In Ireland, two drinks can easily land you in the slammer.

Kerry County Councillor Danny Healy-Rae, who introduced the motion, says he is concerned about older rural residents who are "being isolated now at home, and a lot of them falling into depression." The lack of public transportation makes it difficult for these people to visit the pub. "In rural parishes, that's well we have—we don't have anything else," says Healy-Rae. "All they want to do [here] is talk to neighbors, talk to friends, play cards, talk about the match and the price of cattle, about such a lady going out with such a fella, and it's harmless."

The article is here.

In the U.S, we see even a suggestion of loosening drunk driving laws as political suicide. In Ireland, it may not be a popular political position, but at least it can be discussed in public.

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