Drunk driving is bad... unless you live out in the sticks.

My buddy told me about this story today, and I couldn’t believe it 'til I saw it with my own eyes. I thought he might’ve misheard something on the radio, but nope - it turns out he was right:

What I found even more… interesting… than the proposal itself was one of the rationales used to justify it:

In other words, you’re killing the poor farmers by not letting them drive hammered. Not enough :rolleyes: in the world for this douchebag.

Way to go, Kerry County Council. Good job on cementing the stereotype of the drunken Irishman, you fucking cunts.

Anyone know what that translates to in blood alcohol level?

Seems to me that if drinking is so important to a person that they have to isolate themselves to the point of severe depression to continue, that person has a serious drinking problem that isn’t going to be solved by putting them behind the wheel. Wouldn’t, I dunno, setting up rehab programs and alcohol support groups be a better idea?

0.05 and 0.02, what is the proposed limit? If it’s 0.08 then it’s prob OK.

No, they’re killing them by not letting them drive slowly while hammered.

I wouldn’t call two or three drinks “hammered.”

Drinking laws leading to isolation means that if you live in the sticks, and can’t walk to a bar, then you are isolated. Drunk driving laws are good, but way over the top. Bravo for the lawmakers with the guts to address this, if it is a low limit, such as 3 beers or so. It would never fly in the U.S. of A., that’s for sure. (But then again, American D.U.I. laws are as much about raising revenue as they are about keeping dangerous drivers off the roads.)

Its not about the drinking by itself, the area is not serviced by any type of public transportation, so to come into town to socialize would mean that your driving in. From the article, the farmers would be on the older side and likely to see several pints or more as no big deal, yet would be mathematically driving while drunk.

The Mayor opposed the legislation, and he stated that the person who proposed the legislation, plus several others, were pub owners that allowed the law to pass, or how ever its worded. What I did not see, but would not be surprised in the next couple of weeks, unless there is some way of over turning this in a higher legislative assembly, is that the cops will be ordered to turn a blind eye to smoking in said pubs as well, as they mutually go together,


If it’s illegal to stay at home to drink, and if Ireland sports a complete lack of taxicabs, this law might make sense.

“… drive on little-used roads from their local pub after having “two or three drinks” and travelling at very low speeds.”

Guiness gracious, gotta love the truck of the Irish.

I’m dubious about the argument as a whole, but I don’t think that’s quite what the guy is saying. I don’t think he’s talking about people who are so alcoholic that they won’t leave their property in favor of being drunk. I think he’s saying that people aren’t attending social functions involving alcohol because they don’t have a way to get home (I’m guessing the area is sufficiently rural to rule out bus service, and to make taxis prohibitively expensive). If all the social function in your area revolve around alcohol, then they’re just not going out at all anymore, and end up alone and depressed.

Again, I’m not sure if that argument holds any water, but it’s different from the idea that he’s talking about people who are such hopeless drunks that they simply can’t ever leave the house sober.

Awesome. Thank you for this. I was afraid this would turn into just another one of those RO posts that drops like a stone because no one takes up the counter-argument. Bravo, sir/madam.

Ya see, things are a little bit different here in Ireland than the good ol’ USA, especially in rural areas. Shoulders, road markings, visibility more than 10m, road width >2 passenger cars, ice/snow removal: these are all elements that are commonly missing from Irish country roads. Here’s a pic that illustrates a little of what I’m talking about. I live one county over from Kerry, and here there are usually stone hedges about 5-6 feet high that directly abut the winding roads. Another site has tourists’ impressions of driving here. (One of the posters there mentions, “an estimated 100,000 drivers on the road who have NEVER passed a driving test,” which accords with what I was told by locals when I got here: until about 10 years ago, you didn’t even have to take a test to obtain a licence!)

What I’m getting at is that the roads here are already rather dangerous under normal conditions (in the US, I might’ve looked at the radio for 2-3 seconds switching stations; here, I don’t dare take more than 0.5 secs, frequently 0.0 seconds [I don’t look at the radio at all]). As such, it is obscene to countenance a relaxation of DUI laws here.

Of course, there’s hardly any law enforcement at all out in the country, anyway (and that problem is set to get much worse), so this really means fuck all. Still, a stupid idea is a stupid idea…

I believe that its quite legal to purchase spirits and beer for home consumption, which is part of the bar owners/operators problem in the UK. Previously this was distributed through the pubs and now has been made available through other outlets at a lower price.

However pubs/ locals were an institution of social life before the smoking ban and DUI/DWI legislation and enforcement took place. At the moment its still a very depressed occupation that has not seen its numbers rise across the board since then.

Some folks went out anyway with differing results, they either stood outside and smoked or there was a dedicated nudge nudge wink wink zone for smoking, and most people are within walking distance of their local. Other people either stayed home and held social functions like my parents had in years gone by, or simply stayed home.

But no, its not illegal to drink at home, and Ireland does have cabs and ecpublic transit, just not in that neck of the woods and cab fares may be prohibitive. This is simply the bar owners wanting to bring in more custom.


My town does sport a taxi; the big city nearby sports more than one - quite a few more than one, in fact.

Bus ticket: free for public university students, 3€ for everybody else. 8am-10pm.
Village taxi to big city: about 15€.
City taxi to village: about 20€.

The village has its own bars and nobody lives in isolated farms any more (everybody moved down to the villages when they got tractors), but still, the bang you can get for the same buck changes a lot from daytime to having to take a city taxi. And I don’t know about Irish ones, but Spanish farmers are notorious for paying with IOUs during most of the year; you can’t pay a cab with an IOU.

You’re right, Declan. The pubs have been dying here since the '04 smoking ban. The recession has made things worse, with a lot more people, as you say, choosing to get their “pints” at Tesco for €1.60 instead of €4.30 at the local. Any of you ever wanted to visit an Irish pub, you’d better hurry up while they’re still there!

Wow - that’s mighty cynical of you. The good councillors explicitly deny such devious shenanigans:

It makes sense to me that the legal limits shouldn’t necessarily be the same if you’re driving through a major city or on a congested highway as they are on an isolated rural road.

LOL its looks like this is going to go into the books as an example of if you cant beat them, join them and then subvert them. Of course when the politicians brought in the smoking laws, i dont doubt they said similar things.

But yeah its a conflict of interest situation, i am frankly surprised they never elected a sheep dipped politician(s) to avoid this waft of colorful air.


I think it was a eurozone directive across the board, and a lot of people probably thought it was a good idea. The good of the many outweigh the few so to speak. The crocodile tears that the pub owners(politicians) are shedding have more to do with the loss of business, than sympathy for a few residents in the sticks. Had pub traffic retained its previous levels of income, I very much doubt that the law would have been subverted this way.

The amount of people that we are talking about can’t be more than a handful of duffers that are suffering from cabin fever, so it does not really make any sense for its intended purpose. It does make sense, if the publiticians are making a run at repealing the more restrictive laws.


I’m OK with this.

I’m quite confident that at .10BAC I could pass any reasonable standardize driving test that would prove I’m not a danger to anyone.

Sure, my reaction times have slowed down but not to the point where they are a danger.

It’s all about money. Nothing else.

As a prig my first thought was, “Could he simply not drink?” but as a recovering alcoholic I know the only way to enjoy oneself at one of those get-togethers is to get drunk because otherwise you see how intensely boring they are and what morons your friends are so you end up alone and depressed.