For those of you who are fortunate enough not to live in Ireland, we have been having a bit of a spat over the last couple of weeks about our drink driving laws.
The Nanny State here wants to reduce the alcohol limit to 50mg, for ordinary drivers and 20mg for learners and professionals. It will save countless lives, they say.
A backbencher in the government had the temerity to suggest that some people drove better with a couple of pints on them. There was, of course an uproar. The chairman of the Road Safety Authority, Gay Byrne [qualifications? A chat show host. Don’t ask!] declared that this was “sheer madness” and that “If you believe that, you’ll believe anything”.
Now I am an open minded person. I won’t say I’ll believe anything, but I would never dismiss a claim like that out of hand.
Nor did the Sunday Times.
They took another backbencher and a reporter and they put them through a driving simulator to test reaction times and the like. They then fed them with a couple of pints of Guinness and tested them again.
Of course the Road Safety Authority have dismissed this as “a gimmick” and “not a scientific study”. They say that “overwhelming body of scientific evidence that shows even one drink impairs driving”. In other words, they are dismissing what they don’t want to hear and are falling back on the “overwhelming body of evidence” shite that they love so much.
Of course this little experiment is going to be hushed up. It doesn’t fit into the pattern that the Nanny State likes to present. They like to throw statistics and “scientific research” at us to prove how their way is the right way and they don’t like these figures to be questioned.
So far they have told us that banning smoking in the workplace will improve health [false] and will reduce the number of smokers [false]. They have said that banning the display of cigarettes will stop young people smoking [false]. Now they are saying that eliminating alcohol from the roads will save “countless lives”, and I maintain that that is yet another falsehood.
I am not saying that any drunk is a good driver. Far from it.
What I am saying is not to believe all the shite that the Nanny State throws at us.