As someone whose family tree is firmly planted in Irish soil, I would no sooner speak dishonorably of Ireland than I would ... I don't know, throw perfectly good potatoes in the trash. But even I have to admit that perhaps Councillor (and pub owner) Danny Healy-Rae of County Kerry was taking the whole Irish stereotype thing a bit too far when he proposed "drunk driving" permits for rural drivers.
Aye, 'tis true! You see, in Ireland, "drivers are now allowed only 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, 'equivalent to drinking less than one pint of beer.'" (Less than a pint?! Ha!). But the permits proposed by Kerry would "allow rural residents to consume 'two or three drinks'" and get behind the wheel. A fine idea, indeed! I'll drink to that!
I'M KIDDING. I'm kidding! Although Healy Rae's argument for the permits is ... compelling. (If a wee bit daft.)
Healy-Rae explains it like this: "A lot of these people [who would benefit from the permits] 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." Drunk driving permits, he says, would keep "a lot of them falling into depression."
Well, that is a cryin' shame. After all, how is an aged Irishman supposed to raise his spirits if he can't ... raise some spirits? (In a toast, that is.) And then go for a nice drive through the countryside? After all, as Healy-Rae says, these people "never killed anyone." (Save some sheep, most likely.)
Not yet, anyway! Since the "drunk driving permit' measure was passed, there's still time! While 3 council members did oppose the idea, 5 voted in favor.
Um, now let's all go sing "Whisky in the Jar" and eat corned beef and cabbage and complete the cliche!
What would you do if your town passed a measure to allow "drunk driving" permits?
Image via Robbie Dale/Flickr