Have you heard the one about the Irish politician who recommends a drink for nervous drivers?

Well, now you have.

Tipperary Fianna Fail politician Mattie McGrath says "jumpy" drivers could be better drivers if they had a drink to steady their nerves.

McGrath was speaking amid the furious debate in Ireland over lowering the drink driving level to 0.05 from 0.08.

Some 20 members of parliament from Prime Minister Brian Cowen's Fianna Fail party are opposed to lowering the limit which would rule out the traditional pint of stout for drivers.

"If drink is such a sedative, it can make people who are jumpy on the road, or nervous, be more relaxed," said McGrath.

Ireland's aa motoring group has thrown cold water over McGrath's claim.

"It's an old wives' tale," said Conor Faughnan. "You will get people who'll tell you that smoking is good for you based on a granny who lived to be 95."