The first of hundreds of cars confiscated by Latvian authorities from drunk drivers have started their journey to Ukraine, where Riga hopes they will help Kiev’s war effort.
The previous owners were all caught with blood alcohol levels above 0.15%.
According to an announcement by Latvia’s state tax authority, the first eight cars “that are no longer driven by their previous owners – drunk drivers -” will head to Ukraine this week.
The eight vehicles were handed over to Agenda Group dedicated to delivering cars – either donated or acquired through a donation – to Ukraine’s devastated cities and frontlines. From February to May 2022, the group claims to have delivered over 900 vehicles to Ukraine; and have now delivered a total of 1200.
Reinis Pozniaks of Agendum tweeted a picture of the vehicles being transported to Ukraine on Wednesday, writing: “We’re trying to keep up. The journey from our garage to Ukraine starts today. A car will redeem not only alcohol but also ideological karma.”
In another post, he lamented the number of drunk drivers in Latvia, saying: “Unexploded ‘kamikaze drones’ on Latvian roads. That is 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 streets is really scary: 1.5 + per thousand.”
Cars seized by government agencies are typically sold, recycled, or disassembled for replacement parts. But after seeing the work of a group like Agendum, Latvian authorities thought these vehicles could be used to help Ukrainians.
In February, the Latvian parliament passed an amendment to a law in support of Ukraine, allowing for the transfer of state cars.
Pozniaks has previously said that every car delivered to Ukraine saves a life.
According to Latvia State Tax OfficeAgendum takes cars confiscated from drunk drivers “to where they are needed most”.
Latvian media reports 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 pledged to hand over two dozen impounded vehicles to Agendum every week for delivery to Ukraine.