The first of hundreds of cars confiscated by Latvian authorities from drunk drivers have started their journey to Ukraine, where Riga hopes they’ll help Kyiv with its war efforts.
The former owners were all caught with blood alcohol levels above 0.15%.
According to an announcement from Latvia’s State Revenue Service, the first eight cars “which will no longer be driven by their former owners – drunk drivers” are heading to Ukraine this week.
The eight vehicles were handed over to the Agendum group, which is dedicated to delivering cars – either donated or acquired by a donation – to Ukraine’s devastated cities and frontlines. From February to May 2022, the group said they delivered over 900 vehicles to Ukraine; and have now supplied 1200 in total.
Agendum’s Reinis Pozniaks tweeted a picture of the vehicles being transported to Ukraine on Wednesday, writing: “We try to keep up. The journey from our garage to Ukraine begins today. One car will redeem not only alcohol but also ideological karma.”
In another post, he bemoaned the number of drunk drivers in Latvia, saying: “Unexploded ‘kamikaze drones’ on Latvian roads. These are not even 5% of all confiscated. How many are still uncaught? It’s cool to help Ukraine, but the amount of potential killers on the roads is really scary. 1.5 + per thousand.”
Cars confiscated by state authorities are usually sold, recycled or disassembled for spare parts. But after seeing the work of a group like Agendum, Latvian authorities thought that these vehicles could be used to help Ukrainians.
In February, the Latvian parliament passed an amendment to a law on providing support for Ukraine allowing for the transfer of state-owned cars.
Pozniaks has previously said that every car delivered to Ukraine saves a life.
According to Latvia’s State Revenue Service, the cars seized by drunk drivers will be taken by Agendum “to where they are most needed.”
Latvian media report that the cars will be delivered to the army units of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, the Vinnytsia Regional Clinical Hospital and the territorial medical association of the Kupyansk Council.
Latvian authorities have vowed to hand two dozen confiscated vehicles to Agendum every week for delivery to Ukraine.