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Politicians' drink-driving privilege should 'be withdrawn'

A Labour senator says that the laws are outdated and politicians must “lead from the front” on road safety.

A LABOUR SENATOR has called for a constitutional referendum to be held in order to abolish rules that allow TDs and Senators to side-step drink driving laws and penalty points.

Under Oireachtas rules, a member cannot be charged in relation to traffic offences when on their way to or from Leinster House.

Labour senator John Whelan, however, wants this removed from the law, saying that the Traffic Bill 2013 offered a chance to do so.

Speaking today on the second stage debate on the bill, Whelan said that it is “wrong to expect the public to comply with legislation curbing alcohol consumption while driving and at the same time continuing to allow provisions in the Constitution to allow TDs and Senators to side step the law”.

He said all members of society “must take responsibility for road safety”.

He added that members of the Dáil and Seanad must “lead from the front starting with removing outdated privileges conferred on them by a constitution that was written in an era of turmoil and unrest”.

Read: Senior gardaí “looking closely” at drink-drive ‘loophole’ verdict

Read: Gardaí made 805 drink-drive arrests during Christmas clamp-down

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