Saying Mass and driving would be a no-no

Saying Mass and driving would be a no-no

There’s a rumor that Ireland’s government is contemplating a zero-alcohol limit drunk-driving law. Aside from the many jokes that spring to mind about Irishmen drinking, there is some concern among Catholic clergy. After all, if you’re not allowed to have any alcohol, what’s a priest who’s just finished Mass to do?

Father Brian D’Arcy - perhaps Ireland’s best-known Catholic priest - told BBC News Online that such an approach would be “risible” and would mean priests saying several Masses would be unable to drive legally.

We want a law that allows people to drive and not drive people off the road. We want a law that’s applicable and reasonable, not risible. Nobody in their right mind would want that,” said Father D’Arcy, himself a teetotaller.

Father D’Arcy points out that with fewer priests available, individual priests are being required to celebrate in multiple parishes on the same day, driving in between each. He points out, “Even if they just lower the current permissible alcohol levels for driving, you would be in great danger of being over the limit after three Masses.”

Unfortunately, Ireland is not likely to be the last place where this crops up. In fact, it’s not the first. Croatia contemplated a zero-limit law back in 2004 and Hungary, Estonia, Romania, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia all have such laws on the books. Any bets on which American jurisdiction will be the first?