Latvia Donates Hundreds Of Cars Seized From Heavily Drunk Drivers To Ukraine War Effort
Republic of Latvia donates hundreds of vehicles seized from drink-drivers to Ukrainian military and hospitals.
Latvia began seizing cars from heavily drunk drivers this year, with 200 cars taken from drivers in two months.
About 4,300 drivers found to be over legal alcohol limit on Latvia’s roads last year, causing almost 2000 accidents.
The Republic of Latvia, a Baltic nation of 1.9 million people, has donated hundreds of vehicles seized from heavily drunk drivers to the Ukrainian military and hospitals.
Reuters reports that Latvia began seizing cars from heavily drunk drivers this year, adding that two hundred cars were taken from drivers found with blood alcohol levels over 0.15% in two months.
“It’s actually very scary when you realise how many cars are driving around with drunk drivers,” said Reinis Poznaks, founder of the NGO known as Twitter Convoy, which has been tasked by the government to deliver the vehicles to Ukraine.
The two-dozen confiscated cars the state has promised to hand him each week to send to Ukraine will test the limits of his largely volunteer operation, Poznaks said.
“No one expected that people are drunk driving so many vehicles, they can’t sell them as fast as people are drinking. So that’s why I came with the idea – send them to Ukraine,” Mr Poznaks said.
Twitter Convoy has already sent about 1,200 vehicles to Ukraine, after announcing a plea for donations on Twitter days after the Russia’s invasion started on February 24 last year.
Latvian Finance Minister Arvils Aseradens said the government was inspired by the success of the NGO to drop attempts to auction the vehicles.
“We said, well, you can take those cars … and [Mr Poznaks] says, ‘Oh, that’s very good!’
“We are ready to do practically anything to support Ukrainians.”
Police in Latvia said about 4,300 drivers were found to be over the limit on the country’s roads last year, and were involved in almost a thousand accidents in 2022.