Govt adopts FG proposal to ban drink driving at sea – O’Dowd
A proposal to ban ‘drink driving’ of boats has been adopted by Transport
Minister Noel Dempsey, after Fine Gael Transport Spokesman Fergus O’Dowd
presented new legislation to the Oireachtas.
Deputy O’Dowd proposed that anyone travelling on a sea vessel boat should
be subject to the same alcohol restrictions as a motorist.
“I am delighted that Minister Dempsey has accepted my proposal, which will
make ‘drink driving’ at sea an offence for the first time. Lowering blood
alcohol levels will save lives and protect seafarers.
“There is currently no legal alcohol limit for anyone on a vessel, be they
master or crew. The Minister has indicated that he will seek to have this
loophole addressed in the Merchant Shipping Bill, which is currently being
passed into law.
“Last year the Marine Casualty Investigation Board recommended that greater
emphasis be placed on the danger of alcohol consumption by crews on all
vessels. This came on foot of a serious marine tragedy.
“The Board’s report asked the Department of Transport to consider a breath
test and to set maximum blood alcohol levels for seafarers on duty. There
is currently a complete absence of legislation in this area.”