“It’s a record,” traffic cop Bert Norell told Sveriges Television (SVT) of the woman’s measured blood alcohol level of 4.61 per mille, more than 20 times Sweden’s legal limit of 0.2 per mille.
Officers stopped the woman just outside central Sundsvall on an evening on June 29th after she’d managed to smash into two garage doors and hit a parked car.
When police tested her blood alcohol level, they couldn’t believe their eyes.
“In my 27 years on the job I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Norell.
While the 25-year-old’s level of inebriation may have led Norell to assume she had set a new record, toxicologist Fredrik Kugelberg with Sweden’s National Board of Forensic Science (Rättsmedicinalverket) explained that she is not alone.
“We looked at this a few years ago, and the highest recorded blood alcohol level we could find was a 30-year-old woman from Skåne who had one of 4.91 per mille,” he told The Local.
“We seldom see drunk drivers that reach that level, but it’s not unheard of. There are some every year that are over 4.0 per mille.”
Kugelberg nevertheless concurred that the 25-year-old’s level of drunkenness was “extremely high”, adding that it’s amazing she was even able to get behind a wheel at all.
“Most people would be unconscious and have trouble breathing,” he explained.
“At that level, most normal consumers would run a risk of fatal alcohol poisoning. There’s a good chance they would die.”
The woman, who confessed to drunken driving when she was pulled over by police, is now facing charges of aggravated drunk driving.