Respectful Insolence

One quarter of my heritage at its finest

I’ve probably never mentioned it before, buy I’m 1/4 Lithuanian. Here’s something one of my cousins sent me to make me “proud” of that heritage:

VILNIUS, Lithuania – Lithuanian police were so astonished by a breath test that registered 18 times the legal alcohol limit, they thought their device must be broken. It wasn’t.

Police said Tuesday 41-year-old Vidmantas Sungaila registered 7.27 grams per liter of alcohol in his blood repeatedly on different devices after he was pulled over Saturday for driving his truck down the center of a two-lane highway 60 miles from the capital, Vilnius.

Lithuania’s legal limit is 0.4 grams per liter.

“This guy should have been lying dead, but he was still driving. It must be an unofficial national record,” Saulius Skvernelis, director of the national police traffic control service, told the AP. “He was of high spirits and grinning the whole time he was questioned.”

Medical experts say anything above 3.5 grams per liter of alcohol in the blood is lethal for most people.

“A person this intoxicated should be in an intensive care unit, not behind the wheel,” said Tautvydas Zikaras, head of the dependence illness center in the country’s second-largest city, Kaunas. Zikaras said he had never heard or read of someone being so drunk.


Personally, I’m not so sure that this is anything to be proud of. It just goes to show that it’s possible to develop an enormous tolerance to alcohol, given enough time. I’m sure that genetics has something to do with it as well. In any case, I’d sure hate to see what this guy’s liver looks like.

Comments

  1. #1 Hinschelwood
    June 10, 2006

    I heard this story a few months ago. Then, it was a German who was massively over the limit. The rest of the story, even down to the police suspecting that the breathalyser was broken, was the same. Of course, that doesn’t make this report untrue, but it does make my “urban legend” antenna start twitching…

  2. #2 Ali
    June 10, 2006

    That is totally insane.

  3. #3 Gerry L
    June 10, 2006

    I’m 1/2 Lithuanian. I don’t drink largely because of all the drinking (and drunkeness) I saw around me at family get togethers. Obviously, my personal experience is limited, but it seems that people of Eastern European heritage have a special fondness for alcohol. Anybody have any insight into this?

  4. #4 mndean
    June 10, 2006

    Disgusting. That man’s liver’s probably so diseased it isn’t even worth eating.

  5. #5 BronzeDog
    June 10, 2006

    I’d sure hate to see what this guy’s liver looks like.

    You sure he still has one?

  6. #6 Laura
    June 11, 2006

    Wow I am 1/4 Lithuanian too. Ironiically my drinking habits seem to come from my Czech side. They were the big drinkers. Regardless it seems insane that someone could build that much of a tolerance. Thankfully I am not there yet.

  7. #7 TheProbe
    June 12, 2006

    The highest conscious (for a while) BAC reading I have seen during accident investigations was .31 BAC. Can anyone convert the value in the story to the US method?

  8. #8 Julia
    June 12, 2006

    Probe, I think the Lithuanian tested at .727 BAC, if I’m understanding what should be divided by what to get the correct BAC result.

    .08 BAC is the legal limit for driving in Texas. So the multiplier here would have been 9X the legal limit.

    I don’t know if I’d be legal to drive in Lithuania after a dose of NyQuil. :P