- Lauri Beekmann
Latvia Sends Confiscated Cars of Drunk Drivers to Ukraine
10.03.2023 - Latvia has begun to seize cars from heavily drunk drivers and is sending them to Ukraine. Two hundred cars were confiscated from drivers found with blood alcohol levels over 0.15% in two months, with the impound lots filling up quickly.
Twitter Convoy, an NGO founded by Reinis Poznaks, has been tasked by the government to deliver the vehicles to Ukraine. This is not new for the NGO. After making an appeal for donations on Twitter soon after the beginning of Russia's invasion on February 24th last year, Twitter Convoy has sent out approximately 1,200 vehicles. The organization raised 2 million euros ($2.1 million) in 2022 to cover expenses related to purchasing, renovating, and managing the vehicles.
The Latvian Finance Minister Arvils Aseradens said the government was inspired by the success of the NGO and has dropped attempts to auction the vehicles.
Latvia has introduced more severe penalties for drunk drivers, including the confiscation of their vehicles if their recorded intoxication level is above 1.5 permilles of alcohol. The State Revenue Service (VID) handles the seized cars, with the number of vehicles handled increasing significantly since the amendments were introduced in November 2022.
On average, VID takes in 250 cars per year, but now the impound lots are filling up quickly.