The County Kerry Council in southwest Ireland passed a measure on Monday that allows rural drivers to legally drive while under the influence of alcohol.
The council voted 5-3 – with 12 absent and 7 abstaining – to issue special permits to individuals who live in rural areas and wish to drive home on remote countryside roads after consuming two to three alcoholic beverages. The council will have to rely on Justice Minister Alan Shatter to implement the changes to current drinking and driving laws by issuing special permits.
Councilor and County Kerry pub owner Danny Healy-Rae introduced the bill, arguing that citizens driving while intoxicated in rural areas have never killed anyone. He defended the measure by asserting that it would prevent loneliness and reduce the risk of suicides among those who live in Ireland's backcountry.
“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 license,” Healy-Rae told TheJournal.ie.
Like everything, this makes a lot more sense when explained in context. Not gonna pretend like I know anything about the problems of rural Ireland, but this is a “holy shit” article for a reason. Drunk driving definitely hasn't saved many lives, that's for sure.