back to article Russian diplomat caught driving while 15 TIMES over booze limit

A Russian diplomat was an epic 15 times over the drink-driving limit when he was collared by Polish cops on Sunday. The unnamed cunning linguist drove erratically until he was stopped by cops in the Pomerania region, the Moscow Times reports. Cops felt the foreign service operative was behaving in a "strange" manner, the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ok, why the cunnilingus joke?

    The guy is a diplomat, not a translator. Seems gratuitously irrelevant to the context IMO. Didn't come across as funny, just odd - "Why say that then? *puzzled shrug*". Did I just not get it?

    1. Cazzo Enorme

      I think it was supposed to read "cunning stunt". If that doesn't make more sense, then look up an online reference for "Spoonerism", and note that in good old Blighty drink-driving is ralmost as abhorrent as kiddy fiddling.

      1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge


        As a diplomat, you'd expect him to be skilled in foreign languages. Oh dear, I'm explaining a joke.


  2. Flotter

    El Reg standards?

    There should be a proper standard for blood alcohol levels (suggestions anyone?), this article switches from one 'standard' to another and back again, making it a bit confusing.

    If I understand correctly, the diplomat had 3 g/l or 0.3%, the limit in Poland is 0.2 g/l or 0.02% and the limit in the UK is 0.8 g/l or 0.08%. In other words, in the UK he would've been 'only' 3.75 times over the limit. Is that really newsworthy or is it just because he's a diplomat?

    1. VinceH

      "There should be a proper standard for blood alcohol levels (suggestions anyone?)"

      There's a suggestion in the article: Shots of whiskey per litre of blood. That looks like a perfectly reasonable measurement standard.

      1. Anonymous John

        The Hilton which equals .08 (Paris's level when done for DUI a few years ago.

        1. Danny 4


          .08 what? Elephants?

    2. ratfox Silver badge

      Well, obviously...

      We need a new unit: One Russian diplomat = 3g/l.

      For instance, Guinness has an alcohol rating of 14 Russian diplomats.

  3. Blofeld's Cat


    On one hand you've got to admire the robust nature of his constitution.

    On the other hand the idiot then got behind the wheel...

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Drive out of here, Stalker!

      Drive away!

  4. ptpeetee


    That's 3.75 times the UK limit. Let's call it 5 pints of strong lager

    1. jm83

      Agree, reg is slightly out of whack here.

      However, I thought the UK limit was 2 units which is equivalent to one pint of moderate lager? So 3.75x over the limit would be 3.75 pints or are you factoring in time to drink them?

      Not arguing, genuinely curious.

      1. Velv Silver badge

        1 unit is 10ml of pure alcohol.

        Therefore a pint (568ml) at 3.5%alcohol by volume (abv) is 1.98 units, 4%abv is 2.27 units, and at 5% is 2.84 units.

        Sadly there is no direct correlation between blood alcohol content and units consumed - it varies on the metabolism, timing, medication, food, gender, and weather.

        The only SAFE driving limit is therefore 0 units

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If you have 0.3% blood alcohol content after 5 pints of strong lager, you either have the body mass of a flee, or a disturbing definition of what "lager" is.

      Keep in mind that that's over halfway to what is commonly defined as fatal BAC (0.5%).

      Of course, that usually doesn't apply to Poles. I think the last guy that made headlines in Poland had something around 1.2%, and that's STILL not the national record.

  5. proto-robbie

    I for one

    shalute our Pomeranian dipshomatic and minishterial offishial colleaguesh. Where'sh the crishpsh?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    15 times over the [Polish] drink-driving limit

    So in his defence, he was just under the Russian drink-driving limit.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      What limit? Or are you referring to the minimum required in order to be considered safe in charge of a vehicle.

      As for the ISO designation - it has to be a Yeltsin memory of a toper of outstanding, er, qualities!

  7. Steve 6

    Not no impressive

    For a sense of perspective: the really-red nosed Russian was less than 4x the UK limit. Of course that doesn't make it any more acceptable, but this event is hardly worthy of "epic". I'm sure many an El Reg reader has been drunker than that!

    What is more interesting/disturbing is how Poland's DD limit is only 25% of that of the UK.

    1. Def Silver badge

      "What is more interesting/disturbing is how Poland's DD limit is only 25% of that of the UK."

      Yeah really. All those drink driving campaigns of Christmas' past sure had an effect. Poland's limit is double that of Norway (where I am currently residing) which is, apparently, the strictest in Europe.

      Must make up for the fact that you can drink four times as much in Poland as in the UK for the same cost.

  8. Deckmunki

    Err, soz Reg, 0.3 / 0.08 = 3.75 times over the drink-drive limit, not 15.

    P'raps it's _you_ who have been drinking too much? ;o)

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge


      It's 15 times the Polish drink-drive limit, though...

    2. Pete Spicer


      It might be 3.75 times OUR limit but it happened in Poland, where THEIR limit is 0.02, not 0.08, so you get 15x the limit as originally claimed.

  9. Dan Caugherty

    Just in time for the US holidays!

    I'm making Thanksgiving dinner over here this week for 6 adults + 4 ravenous children. I'd like to borrow this guy's liver afterward to clean the pans.

    (Choosing a pint, of course. Tho' a pic of Graham Chapman from 'Meaning of Life' would be more appropriate, but, what can ya do..)

  10. Ian 3

    Er, hang on...

    Are you sure you're not getting all Daily Mail with your numeric reporting?

    If he was 0.3% blood alcohol and the UK limit is 0.08% then he was just under 4 times the UK limit - 7 pints(ish). Hardly a fatal or particulary extraordinary amount of booze, just more than you should drive after. The Polish must have very low limits.

  11. Chris 244

    Volume of distribution

    Ethanol freely distributes in total body water (~42 l in a 70 kg male), not blood volume (~5 l). Please adjust your calculations accordingly.

  12. MJI Silver badge

    No wonder he was so pissed

    Such a low limit - not even half a pint, if you are going to break it might as well do it properly.

    And he did.

    BTW I feel that the British limit is about right.

  13. Dalen

    There's an urban legend that tells of a Russian who got out of a DWI ticket because the BAC reader showed "DEAD".

    Thing is, alcohol had stopped being our national drink, and is now a vital part of our metabolism. It keeps the blood from freezing during the cold Russian winter.

    1. rrevolverr

      A typo, perhaps

      Russian national drink is qwas, а не alcohol...

  14. puffspluslotion

    The polish (along with the Russians) claim to have invented vodka and there driving bac limit is 0.02? I'm going to give credit to the Russians on matter of principle.

  15. Valgamaa

    DD Limits


    Norway may have a low limit, but it doesn't come close to the limit in Estonia - 0g/l. And they are now quite strict in enforcing it too, so leave the keys at home the following day if you have had a 'good' evening.

  16. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    DD Limits

    The reason for the limits generally have nothing to do with safety and everything to do with politics.

    Set the limit at 0.8 = 1 drink and the opposition accuses you of being soft on drunk driving, so they propose 0.4, you counter that you are tougher on drink-driving and make it 0.2, .....

    Then somebody who has no idea how science (or possibly counting) works decides to make it 0.

    Pretty impressive technology though - to pick up a single O-H bond in 250 moles of blood volume (say 10E26 molecules) just by blowing into a bag.

    1. Richard Pennington 1

      Finding your O-H bonds

      Picking up a single O-H bond is tricky - especially when most of the blood & bodily fluids are made up of water, which has quite a lot of O-H bonds per millilitre.

      A bit like finding a needle in a haystack made of needles.

  17. carter brandon

    DD Limits Too

  18. This Side Up

    Think again!

    "If I understand correctly, the diplomat had 3 g/l or 0.3%, the limit in Poland is 0.2 g/l or 0.02% and the limit in the UK is 0.8 g/l or 0.08%. In other words, in the UK he would've been 'only' 3.75 times over the limit. "

    Yes, I was going to say the same. But this assumes that the density of alcohol is unity, which it certainly isn't. The specific gravity of blood is around 1.06 whereas ethyl alcohol is 0.785. 0.2g of alcohol occupies 0.255ml which is 0.0255% of a litre, not 0.02%. By mass, a litre of blood has a mass of 1.06kg, so 0.2g is 0.019% (roughly).

    You can't express g/l which has dimensions of m/l³ as a percentage which is dimensionless.

  19. TRT Silver badge

    In Russia, Vodka drinks YOU!

  20. John Savard Silver badge

    Endangering Life

    The limit in Canada is still 0.08, but when the police stop people, at first over 0.05, but now with any detectable alcohol, they still impose penalties such as a 24 hour license suspension.

    So, while the criminal limit of impaired driving has not been reduced more, from a level at which a driver is not an accident waiting to happen, but his reflexes are simply a bit off, so that a near-accident caused by other factors would become more serious, provincial driving regulations have gone beyond that.

    Thus, 0.2 or 0.24 or thereabouts is simply garden-variety drunk driving, where the driver is an accident waiting to happen. That should result in significantly worse penalties than merely impaired drivers, but somehow getting tougher on drivers that are just barely impaired (if they really are impaired) is more important than having harsher penalties for those who really do put others at significant risk.

  21. rrevolverr

    Blood in your wine not detected...

    err... had anyone 4.5 promille (being on feet)?

  22. Anonymous Coward

    The Cunning Linguist Joke

    Originated from a series of letters in UK's The Guardian discussing the correct plural form of clitoris. Someone claimed to know it in several languages. He was acclaimed, by another writer, as a cunning linguist.

    The joke was so perfect, that it instantly took wings and flew to heaven --- and should only be remembered reverently, not ever, /ever/ used again.

  23. Paul RND*1000

    Only 0.3%?

    Pfft, lightweight.

    1.6g/100ml - that's 1.6%, or about 3 times what would kill most people. That's some serious built-up tolerance right there.

    Mind you even at "only" 0.3% our Russian buddy still needs a damn good shoeing by the local plod for being an idiot.

  24. h 2

    Drink Driving Limits in Europe

    Data from

    The Blood Alcohol Levels

    0.0 mg per ml– Estonia, Malta, Romania, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary

    0.2 mg per ml– Norway, Poland, Sweden

    0.4 mg per ml- Lithuania

    0.5 mg per ml- Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany (Germany is 0.3 if you’re in an accident), Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Serbia/Montenegro, Croatia, Latvia, Macedonia, Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, Cyprus (North)

    0.8 mg per ml– UK, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Switzerland

    0.9 mg per mlCyprus (South)

    1. Steven Roper

      So which is it?

      You've got Malta twice - on one hand you say they're 0.0 and on the other you say they're at 0.8. So, can you drive with alcohol in your blood there or not?

      I ask because I was considering Malta as one of several possible future homes once Australia has completed its final descent into the police-state pit. Perhaps Malta is following the same path. Is there *any* country left whose politicos actually support freedom and human rights?

      1. Chris Miller

        "Perhaps Malta is following the same path. Is there *any* country left whose politicos actually support freedom and human rights?"

        There may be, but it certainly ain't Malta, which is effectively in the hands of various branches of mafiosi.

    2. ratfox Silver badge

      Your data is too old

      Switzerland went down to 0.5% years ago.

  25. Nights_are_Long

    Proposition for the measurement of alcohol for the El Reg community.

    I propose that each unit of alcohol (A unit being 1 shot of vodka) be named a Yeltsin, and that various units multiplied are combined thusly -

    10 Yeltsin's = 1 Borris

    20 Yeltsin's = A Johnson.

    30 Yeltsin's = Beer goggles.

    40 Yeltsin's = Handcuffed.

    50 Yeltsin's 1 Supper Borris.

  26. Dalen


    "A typo, perhap

    Russian national drink is qwas, а не alcohol..."

    Nothing stopping you from mixing both, though.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Malted drink anyone?

    Data from

    0.0 mg per ml– Estonia, MALTA

    0.8 mg per ml– UK, Ireland, Luxembourg, MALTA


  28. The Askylist


    I once drove with a bottle of Scotch inside me (26 units), but only because my mate, whose van it was, couldn't sit up straight enough to drive. Polesworth to Atherstone in a bloody column shift Toyota while pissed as a newt, and reverse parked it up the drive too.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      My, what jolly japes

      Until you kill a kid.

  29. kain preacher Silver badge


    So you mean half a crud wieser and you're drunk ? @ 0.02% you have cough medicine here in the US that would put you over .

    1. B4PJS


      Beverage Alchohol %age != Blood Alchohol %age

  30. MJI Silver badge

    0 alcohol is fail

    Natural level is higher than that!

    As to accidents - I am sure that tiredness combined with alcohol is a major problem, compared to alcohol alone.

    As before our limit is fine

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