Suspected drink-driver claims to be cousin of Vladimir Putin

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Vladimir Putin ENGNNL00120110629122321

A Russian man who police suspected of being a drink-driver was arrested after he refused to be breathalysed and claimed to be Vladimir Putin’s cousin.

Sergejs Tencs also tried to intimidate the officers by claiming he was in the Russian Mafia and knew people who could harm them.

Police had been called by a member of the public who saw Tencs getting into a silver BMW in Marine Parade, Eastbourne, and then revving the engine shortly after midnight on December 20.

When officers arrived Tencs was sitting in the passenger seat. The 31-year-old claimed that the driver had run off.

Tencs refused to be breathalysed and then told the officers even if they charged him he would not turn up to court and would go back to Russia.

Because of the threat not to answer bail, Tencs, of Colonnade Gardens, Eastbourne, was remanded in custody to appear at Brighton Magistrates’ Court.

On Monday (December 22) Tencs pleaded guilty to failing to provide a specimen for analysis. He was banned from driving for six months, made the subject of a 30-day curfew and ordered to pay £40 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

Superintendent Jane Derrick said, “The behaviour of Tencs might appear funny if his actions had not been so dangerous.

“If the member of the public had not alerted us to him, Tencs could have driven away and put himself and other road users in danger.

“We will never know quite how drunk he was as he refused to provide a sample for analysis but the fact that he was slumped in the car when he was found, was slurring his wounds and struggled to take off his shoes and socks at the police station gives some indication of how unfit to drive he was.

“We are really grateful to the support that the public have given us through the campaign, by reporting suspected drink or drug drivers.

“If you see anyone who you think could be about to drive and who appears drunk, please call us immediately. Your call could prevent a crash and could save lives.”

As part of Operation Dragonfly - Sussex Police’s year-round strategy to remove drink and drug-drivers from the streets - roads policing unit officers are on dedicated patrols looking for offenders.

Teams will also respond to tip-offs from members of the public who see someone they know has been drinking getting into a car to drive.

The names of those charged are being proactively published.

People in Sussex can text officers on 65999 with the details of people they suspect of drink or drug driving or visit

You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

To keep up to date with officers looking for drink drivers, follow #opdragonfly on Twitter.

If you know someone is driving while over the limit or after taking drugs call 999.