Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Politics of Alcohol

Really this takes the biscuit.

The Minister for Transport, Martin Cullen, is considering introducing a zero alcohol limit for new drivers.

Many people are probably thinking this as a great annocement but it is not look at it again. a zero alcohol limit for new drivers. So basically they are saying that if older people do wish to drink and drive they are still able too. Like it or not older people are in accidents as well and these involve alcohol as well. Indeed as these new drivers are younger and on the whole fitter they are going to be able to process 1 pint a lot better then an old person. But why is Minister Cullen not taking the correct step and reducing the Alcohol Limit for all drivers. Ireland all-ready has the(Edit: )Second highest limit already in the EU.

Austria 50

Belgium 50

Cyprus 90

Czech Republic 0

Denmark 50

Estonia 20

Finland 50

France*[1] 50

Germany 50

Greece 50

Hungary 0

Ireland 80

Italy* 50

Latvia 50

Lithuania 40

Luxembourg 80

Malta 80

Netherlands 50

Poland 20

Portugal 50

Slovakia 0

Slovenia 50

Spain** 50

Sweden 20

UK 80

*With effect from 1 July 2002

*[1] 20 for drivers of buses and coaches

**From January 1999, 50 for car drivers and 30 for drivers of heavy goods vehicles and

public transport vehicles.

It is time we changed. Why don’t we.

Simple politics. Drinking and driving is still acceptable in Ireland especially in the older generations. The older generations still think that 1 pint is perfectly ok. If the government came out and said they were reducing the alcohol limit to zero. There would be howls of protests. People going on about how this will destroy rural communities who need to drive to socialise and this will ruin all this. They will be seen as a nanny state step targeting the poor who can’t afford taxi’s.

The countries attitude to drink has been well documented and I don’t need to go into it. But what is worse is the governments and politicians attitude to drink. Last month a member of Fianna Fail came out to complain about an issue vital to the people. The price of a pint.

I will be immediately contacting the Director of Consumer Affairs to ensure that any increase is transparent and that both the brewery and publicans are meeting all their legal requirements.

Now you would think that a politician complaining about the price of alcohol would be considered a waste of his time. But in Ireland a politician coming out about the price of alcohol is a vote getter. Until this attitude is changed in Ireland politician will not have the balls to lower the alcohol limit and save lives.


Declan said...

It's really simple, older people vote, younger people dont. If you want to introduce something unpopular you pick a percentage of the population that wont hurt your election chances to start with.

Though to be honest Minister Cullen makes lots of press releases, few of them come to anything and those that do are usually disasters.

Anonymous said...

Cyprus has a higher limit than Ireland


Simon said...

Doh missed that. Thanks