Latvia Is Shipping Cars Seized From Drunk Drivers To Ukraine

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The Latvian government last month approved a plan to donate cars seized from drunk drivers to Ukraine, in what it says is a creative scheme (or else we could say publicity-seeking scheme) to help the war effort there.

The first collection of cars have been shipped, as last week BBC confirmed that “Eight seized vehicles left a car pound in the capital, Riga, on Wednesday and are due to cross the border soon.”

The cars will reportedly go to the Ukrainian military as well as hospitals. Vehicles in Latvia had previously been impounded at high rates due to the country having among the worst drunk driving problems in Europe, based on the size of the population.

It was only last year that lawmakers attempted a severe crackdown on the problem, changing the law to create the possibility of vehicle seizures in instances where a driver is found to have three times the legal limit of alcohol in their system.

“No-one expected that people are drunk-driving so many vehicles,” the NGO’s founder [Twitter Convoy], Reinis Poznaks, told Reuters news agency. “They can’t sell them as fast as people are drinking. So that’s why I came with the idea – send them to Ukraine.”

Since the confiscation law went into effect, some two hundred cars have been taken from drunk drivers. Many if not all of these will now go to Ukraine.

Latvian Finance Minister Arvils Aseradens said of the program to ship them to Ukraine, “We are ready to do practically anything to support Ukrainians.”

Last week, a group of police officers closed down an entire road in Riga in order to do mass drinking and driving checks, but the dragnet reportedly came up with nothing after traffic was stopped for at least half an hour.

Likely such inconveniences to motorists will only increase, given the recent media attention and gimmicky linkage to the Ukraine situation. Some officials and pundits are actually calling for the program to be implemented more broadly in Europe.


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