Shatter rejects drink-driving proposal


Minister for Justice Alan Shatter today rejected a call by Kerry County Council for permits to allow certain rural dwellers to drink and drive.

A motion tabled by Independent Councillor Danny Healy-Rae at Monday’s meeting of Kerry County Council called for special derogation from the alcohol limit for rural drivers, including those of small tractors.

The motion was passed by five votes to three. Seven councillors abstained and 12 were not present.

Speaking at a meeting of EU traffic police in Dublin Castle this morning, Mr Shatter said he did not believe any Government would ever accede to such a request.

Mr Shatter said those who were "privileged" to be involved in politics should be "relentlessly" supporting the road safety message.

While not referring to the council or any councillor by name, Mr Shatter was critical of what he described as self promotion by certain politicians.

"No one should be off message on this issue,” he said.

The motion called for legislation to be introduced which would allow rural gardaí to issue permits to allow rural dwellers drive from their local pub "after having two or three drinks on little used roads driving on very low speeds".

Mr Healy-Rae, a publican, was supported by a number of other publicans at the meeting. However, they insisted their support was not for “vested interests” but because of genuine concern about elderly rural dwellers and their experience of the changes which had overcome rural dwellers.

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