Mass Problem

Stricter anti-drunk driving standards could hinder Irish priests after Mass


A developing zero-tolerance policy for driving under the influence of alcohol could affect busy priests in Ireland, the Irish Times reports.

Father Brian D'Arcy of Enniskillen said the shortage of priests means that priests have to drink from the chalice at multiple Masses, which could put them over a proposed stricter legal limit for driving.   "It could be enough for you to fail a drink driving test, and while I don't like to use the word wine, as it is the precious blood in the Eucharist, it still has all the characteristics of wine when in the blood stream," he said.

"Perhaps a small amount would not show up in blood tests but only medically qualified people can decide that. After doing several Masses I often have to drive off immediately to visit some person who may be very ill in hospital," the priest continued.

The current blood alcohol limit in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland is 80mg per 100 liters, or 0.08 percent by American Blood Alcohol Concentration standards.  A reduction in that limit is expected within 18 months. 

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