Is there such a thing as 'eat driving'?

Dr Ciara Kelly discusses recent comments from Danny Healy-Rae on High Noon

Is there such a thing as 'eat driving'?

File photo of Danny Healy-Rae. Image:

Earlier this week,  Danny Healy-Rae claimed that people can be a danger on the road if they "eat too much".

The Kerry TD was speaking at an Oireachtas committee where representatives of the RSA were discussing proposed new drink driving legislation.

"Many people will agree with me - if you actually eat too much, and get in behind the wheel of a car, you're a danger on the road because you're liable to fall asleep after eating a big meal.

"I for one when anyway, when I'm going home out of here this evening, when I know that I won't eat going in behind the wheel because I know what it will do. There could have been many other overriding reasons and causes of the accident, as well as the consumption of a small amount of alcohol."

Speaking on High Noon, Dr Ciara Kelly said the politician's comments were "an insult to the victims of drink driving".

"There is no evidence to support that eating a meal has, in any way, the effect that drinking alcohol does," she said. "I think Danny Healy-Rae is saying this purporting to be representing the needs and the demands and the interests of the rural community, when that is far from what he's actually doing."

She continued that Healy-Rae was speaking "out of his publican's hat", rather than examining the concerns presented as a TD.

"He is a publican - there is a conflict of interests here [...] The man should resign."