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Drunk sets French record for blood alcohol level

Sophie Inge · 15 Apr 2013, 16:38

Published: 15 Apr 2013 16:38 GMT+02:00

A Frenchman's boozy night out in a bar in Avignon, which ended in him robbed and beaten up, saw him set a new record for blood alcohol content.

Local police were no doubt shocked to discover that the man’s head injuries, sustained from the attack, were only a part of his problems. With a blood alcohol level of 1.1 percent, he was lucky to be alive.

"This is the same as drinking three to four bottles of whisky in a few hours," a specialist doctor told French daily Le Parisien.

To put it into context the drink drive limit in France is set at 0.05 percent and most people would start to feel worse for wear at around 0.25 percent.

According to local paper Le Dauphiné Liberé, the man’s drinking binge earned him a place in the French record books, smashing the previous record of 0.97 percent. 

Investigators say the man, an employee of the French oil company Total in the Vaucluse department of south-east France, was accosted by the thugs while drinking at the bar.

An employee at the venue told Le Dauphiné Liberé: “He had two cocktails and then left. He seemed drunk – that was all,” adding that he appeared to have a lot of money in his possession.

The man has since been taken to hospital in La Timone in Marseille and has yet to be questioned by police.

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Prosecutor Bernard Marchal told the paper that police were still hunting for the suspects who were seen following the victim out of the bar in a surveillance tape.  

The previous record for blood alcohol content was set in February 2005 when a driver aged 37 was found to have an alcohol level of 0.97 percent when tested by police in Polliat in the Ain department of eastern France.

According to French daily Le Parisien, police were so incredulous that they made the man retake the test.

Sophie Inge (sophie.inge@thelocal.com)

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