A Bulgarian member of the European Parliament, Angel Dzhambazki – deputy leader of Deputy Prime Minister Krassimir Karakachanov’s ultra-nationalist VMRO party – has been caught driving with a blood-alcohol level over the legal limit, Dzhambazki confirmed to local media.
Dzhambazki was stopped in the early morning of December 8 in Samokov, a town in the Sofia district in south-western Bulgaria, during a routine police check.
Bulgarian National Television reported Interior Ministry chief secretary Ivailo Ivanov as saying that the results of a blood test, which was ready on December 12, showed that Dzhambazki’s blood-alcohol level was over the statutory limit of 0.5 but below the 1.2 threshold that triggers severe sanctions.
During the check, Dzhambazki had co-operated with police and had not used the fact that as an MEP, he has immunity from prosecution, Ivanov said.
Dzhambazki told BNT: “I have done something unreasonable and punishable, which I regret and am ashamed of”.
Asked why he had got behind the wheel, Dzhambazki said that he had made an error of judgment.
“It doesn’t matter if a person is a resident of Raduil or is a MEP in Brussels – it is wrong and unreasonable to drive after drinking. I’m ashamed of that,” he told Darik News. He would accept his punishment and would not appeal against the decision, he said.
Dzhambazki praised the traffic cops for having done their job properly, Darik reported.
He said that he had informed Karakachanov about the matter the day after the incident so that the VMRO leader found out personally from him and not from the media.
Dzhambazki, a former Sofia city councillor, was elected to the European Parliament on the Bulgaria Without Censorship list and was re-elected on a VMRO ticket in 2019. In the autumn municipal elections, Dzhambazki was a candidate Sofia mayor. He came fifth with less than four per cent of the vote.