Latvia has the highest drunk driving rate in all of Europe, according to BBC News.
Last year, in a country of about 1.9 million people, 4,300 drivers were caught driving with a blood alcohol level over the legal limit of 0.05%. The Latvian government actually passed a law to seize and sell drunk drivers' cars if they have a blood alcohol level at or above three times the legal limit.
Three times the Latvian limit is roughly equal to two times the U.S. limit (0.08%) for drunk driving.
Seized cars were quickly filling up public warehouses. So many drunk Latvians were caught driving that the government couldn't keep up with auctioning off their vehicles.
So, to kill two birds with one stone, Latvia started sending the seized cars to Ukraine to help them in their war effort against Russia. Seriously.
Reinis Poznaks, the founder of Twitter Convoy, the NGO behind the plan, told Reuters:
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.
Twitter Convoy has already dispatched about 1,200 vehicles, after announcing a plea for donations on Twitter days after the Russia's invasion started on Feb. 24 last year. It raised 2 million euros ($2.1 million) for vehicle purchases, renovations, and logistics in 2022.
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 (Poznak) says, 'Oh, that's very good!'"
Latvians seem to be buckling up and staying a bit soberer now...
Four police officers closed a Riga road on Wednesday and checked every driver for alcohol for half an hour, and none were found to be drunk!
I am sure the government could auction off these seized cars over time, but we all know how competent governments can be ... so shipping them off to Ukraine is a quick fix!
Plus, it'll score them some virtue-signaling points! Says Poznak:
We are ready to do practically anything to support Ukrainians.