Two Tipperary councillors, both publicans, have called for a legal drink drive limit of two pints of beer.
They made their calls at a meeting of the County Joint Policing Committee where Chief Superintendent. Catherine Kehoe had revealed that drink driving arrests in the county had increased by 61% in the past year.
She told the meeting in Clonmel that detections for drink driving had increased from 268 to 432 during 2017.
"The message is not getting through on drink driving. People must become aware that you cannot drink and drive", Chief Superintendent Kehoe said.
Tipperary town publican Cllr Denis Leahy said that as a publican he was well aware of the problems with drink driving and its consequences.
"But I have never in my thirty six years as a publican seen anyone drunk after two pints of beer", he said.
And he believed the two pints limit should be used to clear up any confusion over the amount someone can drink and drive.
He pointed out that there are major differences in transport availability for people living in cities. "They have trams, buses and taxis that people in rural areas don't have", he pointed out.
He said that rural people working on farms all day should be able to drive home after two pints. "I recommend that there should be a limit of two pints", he added.
Fellow publican Cllr John Crosse agreed, and said there was no danger from someone drinking two pints.
"Cllr Leahy hit the nail on the head with his two pints strategy but it could be hard to implement. How will the gardai know you had just two pints"?
The Donohill councillor said drink driving is a huge issue in rural Ireland and claimed there is no easy fix. He added that the new lower limits proposed by Transport Minister Shane Ross "won't help rural Ireland".
And he added that there was a big difference between a safe driver with two pints and a young driver with drugs taken.
"There is no danger after two pints. It is a social outlet that needs to be retained and something must be done to resolve this", he stated.
Chief Supt Kehoe replied that the limits involved was a legislative issue and she couldn't comment on it and the committee was not the forum to discuss it.
She added - "The fatalities on our roads must be eliminated and my message, particularily at this time of year, is that the limits are there".
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