It looks like the Government is backing down under pressure from the drinks lobby which has marshalled forces against the party in power. With so many politicians having clinics in pubs, is it any wonder?
Many politicians like a drink and, if they do, they can be sure that their local publican will let them know how their trade is suffering and how a tougher approach to drivers will make business that is already bad even worse. The health and safety answer is hard to argue with as driving concentration is affected by small quantities of alcohol.
The absence of rural transport is a problem. But, surely, people could go to the pub and drink less or within the limit and still have a social evening with their friends and a game of cards. The major accidents are caused at weekends when people are driving home late after closing time. Often the people concerned are well past even current limits. Will that change?
If publicans were made partly responsible for over consumption of alcohol by customers, and partly responsible for any consequences such as accident or death, it could be a good thing. We do need to be more careful. Drugs are also a big factor now in road accidents.
Noel Dempsey is finding it tough to get a consensus for change but he will be proved correct in the end.
If people want to drink more than the permitted limit then they should arrange for lifts or other forms of transport. Bar owners today often help out more in such occasions and have their own hackney service. It is hard to argue with the scientific evidence and it is better to come up with ideas like Rockett’s of Tramore where transport is provided. Hard pressed taxi drivers could also do with extra business and could be under contract with a pub. More solutions can be found but, in the meantime, the horrible deaths still continue.
In a separate situation which may have nothing to do with alcohol consumption, the circumstances of which have yet to be determined, two young Waterford men were killed at the weekend, and two girls injured, in an accident that occurred near Castlemartyr, County Cork. The dreadful tragedy cast a gloom over the entire area and we tender or sympathies to the bereaved families.