TD Michael Healy Rae once again defends people who drink and drive 6 years ago

TD Michael Healy Rae once again defends people who drink and drive

Not acceptable from any politician.

Kerry TD Michael Healy Rae, speaking to Newstalk's Richard Chambers, said that rural pubs are losing out due to strict drink driving laws.

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This is not the first time Healy Rae has defended the public's right to have a few drinks and drive home - in 2013 he called for permits to be issued to people in rural areas who wanted to have a few beers and then operate a vehicle.

Chambers asked if Healy Rae's attitude had changed due to the number of people killed on roads due to drunk drivers.

It hadn't.

"We've lost a lot of our rural pubs and what has happened is actually wrong," he said. "These pubs were providing a great service. They were a place in the community where people could come together, play a game of cards, have a bit of enjoyment, and have a drink or two.

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"When they really got strict on the drink driving laws there should have been a common sense approach in rural areas whereby people could go out, have a glass or two of beer, and go away home in rural areas.

"There was nothing wrong with it."

Chambers then asked whether it was irresponsible to lobby for such permits when the number of road deaths due to drink driving had dropped significantly due to stricter measures.

"No. If a person goes out and has a little drink they're hurting nobody. They weren't killing people. There are a lot of reasons people are surviving accidents - our cars are improving all the time, thankfully modern technology ensure that people have a greater capacity to survive accidents.

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"You can't go saying that it's all about drink."

Healy Rae, an Independent TD hoping to be re-elected in this year's General Election, then said that checkpoints are 'a great deterrent to thieves going around trying to break into houses.'