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Dublin: 9 °C Monday 23 September, 2019

Ross says rural TDs are 'like road traffic terrorists' over drink-driving bill

The RSA estimates that “seven to eight” fatalities could be avoided by changing the law.

Image: Eamonn Farrell/

TRANSPORT MINISTER SHANE Ross has called on rural TDs to pass a drink-driving law.

Speaking today, Ross said that the Road Traffic Bill will come before the Dáil tonight and he hoped rural TDs would pass it.

Currently, anyone with a full licence caught driving with an alcohol level between 50mg and 80mg can receive three penalty points on their licence and a €200 fine.

However, the bill will see an automatic disqualification for drivers on their first offence of driving while over the permitted 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

A number of rural TDs have opposed the bill, saying it would damage rural areas, but Ross accused those TDs of behaving “like road traffic terrorists”.

“I’d take this opportunity to appeal to Danny Healy-Rae and his gang to stop the filibuster.

“They’re behaving like road traffic terrorists – there’s a kind of guerilla warfare going on and it’s costing lives. I appeal to those very very few people left opposing this legislation in the Dáil to pass the bill.”

Last week Healy-Rae told the Dáil that “a pint and a half of beer never made anyone drunk”. He stood over those comments later in the week, with fellow dissenter Mattie McGrath calling comments from RSA chair Liz O’Donnell – who called the TDs “disgraceful and self-serving” – a “cheap shot”.

The RSA estimates that “seven to eight” fatalities could be avoided by changing the law.

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