On Her Majesty's Intoxicated Service

A diplomatic immunity is supposed to come in handy when a bright spark decides to round up the men in grey suits and launch a good old fashioned revolution. More commonly though, they're simply a stalling block to regimes who lash the scape-goat whip at the representative of a foreign country. After all, it doesn't take a Machiavellian mind to deduce that all ambassadors are spies of a sort. Any self-respecting propagandist could make mincemeat of Monsieur Ambassador in a trice, if only given half the chance.

But for Britain's vice consul in Lithuania, the immunity was effected in relation to a rather less cataclysmic affair, albeit one that is increasingly associated with the sceptred isle (especially the lower half of that isle). In short, alcoholic excess.

Britain's hapless vice consul was pulled over last Sunday after locals reported a lurching V|P vehicle terrorizing the road. After testing the wrong side of the alcometer, the Brit had to leave the car on the spot, and some less sozzled embassy employees returned later to retrieve the vehicle.

The British embarrassment represents the second Lithuanian drink driving incident to make the International Press this season. In late May, a Lithuanian truck-driver was relieved of his license after testing 18 times over the limit, quite possibly a world record.


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