Today in Way to Perpetuate a Stereotype News, officials in the Irish county of Kerry have voted in favor of a motion that would allow people in rural parts of the county to drive home after having “two or three” drinks at local pubs.
The motion was proposed, according to councillor Danny Healy-Rae, because “people are living in isolated rural areas where there’s no public transport of any kind, and they end up at home looking at the four walls, night in and night out, because they don’t want to take the risk of losing their licence.”
Let us just say that being of Irish descent, having lived in Galway for several months, and having spent a fair amount of time in Kerry, it really is true that the Irish pub culture is as much about socializing as it is about drinking (if not more so). It’s also true that many rural parts of the country have few, if any, social outlets aside from said drinkeries. Therefore, as ridiculous as it may sound, these concerns about people becoming socially isolated if they can’t go to their neighborhood watering holes are legitimate.
That said, we do feel the need to point out that the whole problem could also be resolved if these isolated folks just practiced heading to the pub, taking part in conversations, listening to music, playing cards with their neighbors and not drinking excessively (ludicrous, we know).
All jokes aside, though, we would be very surprised if this motion were accepted by the Minister for Justice (the next step in becoming law).
Ireland has extremely unforgiving drunk driving laws, and during our time there we saw more horrifically graphic anti-drunk-driving public service announcements than we care to remember. The current maximum blood-alcohol level is 50mg per 100ml of blood (20mg for learner and professional drivers). While it of course varies from person to person, that is roughly less than a single pint of beer.
The thing is, stereotypes die hard, and despite all of these strict regulations and powerful PSAs, this motion has given a new breath of life to the image of a country full of sloshed redheads stumbling through rural streets singing “Turaluraluralu”.
Now if you’ll excuse us, we’re going to take our freckle-faced, shamrock-finding, tin whistle-loving selves down to the local pub for an inappropriately-timed midday pint o’Guinness.
But don’t worry, we’ll call ourselves a cab. Sláinte!