Fine Gael to back new drink-driving laws

Fine Gael will support the new Road Traffic Bill, the party's parliamentary chairman has confirmed.

Martin Heydon said there were 24 contributions on the proposed Bill at tonight's meeting of Fine Gael TDs and Senators in Leinster House - writes

He said a majority of these agreed with a united approach to supporting the Bill.

The Kildare South TD said he would now meet the Minister for Transport Shane Ross to look at ways of improving rural transport.

The Bill, which is being brought forward by Minister Ross, could now be debated in the Dáil as early as next week.

The legislation would see those detected over the blood alcohol limit automatically disqualified.

It would impose a three-month driving ban for those caught with a blood alcohol level of between 50mg and 80mg per 100ml.

Currently, first-time offenders in this category could face a sanction of three penalty points, rather than a driving ban.

A number of rural Fine Gael TDs expressed concern about the changes at tonight's meeting and the impact they would have on rural pubs.

However, the majority view was that it would be preferable to have a party whip in place when the legislation came before the Dáil.

Independent Alliance TD Sean Canney said tonight that he would not be able to support the Bill that was drawn up by his Alliance colleague.

The Galway East TD described the legislation as disproportionate and said the necessary public transport was not in place in rural Ireland to provide people with alternative ways to travel.

Read also more news of Dublin on our site.

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