Kerry allows limited drink driving on rural roads

Expect waves of news coverage and lots of late-nite television jokes about County Kerry Council’s vote on allowing limited drink driving on rural roads.

The measure by Kerry councillor Danny Healy-Rae passed earlier this week on a 5-3 vote, with 12 absent and seven abstaining. Healy-Rae, a pub owner, said his measure is designed to ease the isolation of elderly rural residents, many whom might be riding slow-moving tractors to fetch a few pints.

Full implementation of the measure requires the Department of Justice to issue rural permits.

The Kerryman’s digital edition quotes the surviving family member of someone killed by a drunken driver as being “appalled, repulsed [and] ashamed” of the vote. Expect to see more backlash in the weeks ahead.

Here’s a round up of some of the headlines already ricocheting around the Web.

This isn’t good for Kerry and for Ireland. Anything that hints of promoting or tolerating drink driving (or drunk driving, as we say in the US) is bad news.

Surely there are better solutions to alleviating rural isolation, which is a real problem in Ireland.