A leading Donegal coroner says he wants more debate and proof before the Government decides to rubberstamp laws to reduce the drink-driving limits.

Dr.Denis McCauley, GP and Coroner for Donegal North East, says he is not convinced the provision of the Road Traffic Act 2010 to reduce drink driving limits from 80mg/100ml to 50mg/100ml will have any benefit.

Dr.McCauley from Ballybofey, said he wants a debate on the plan before it is finalised in law as is expected in the Autumn.

He added that he wants to see a “cost benefit analysis” for the reduction saying an awful lot of money has to be spent getting it down.

“I do not want the message to go out that I am condoning someone going out and having three pints and then jumping into their car.

“What I want is debate that will prove that we need this reduction. If the statistics show that a reduction from 80mgs to 50mgs will have a major impact, then I will be the first to hold my hands up and support it.

“What I am looking for is more debate on the issue before the law is introduced became it is very hard to rescind a law when it is brought in,” he said.

While the current drink driving level of80mg/100ml is likely to be reduced to 50mg/100ml, other doctors feel the level should be lowered to a zero level.

A recent Irish Medical Organisation conference in Kerry recently heard a call on Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar to reduce the drink driving level immediately.

Dr.Declan Bedford said “society needed to take the next step.”

“They say the reduction is going to happen in the autumn, but we should keep the pressure on,” he said.

However Dr.McCauley says one of the reasons why he wants the proposed reduction debated is because he feels it have a very negative affect on social interaction in rural Ireland.

“We are not just talking about the farmer having a pint and a half – we are talking about the general community, me and you.

“There is no question the reduction will pose particular problems for rural communities. I feel the reduction will stop many from attending social functions altogether because they cannot have a drink at all.

“I don’t think enough consideration and thought has been given to the negative affect I think it will have on the social fabric of rural Ireland and that’s one of the reasons why I think it should be debated ,” he said.

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