The comments by Gennady Onishchenko, Russia’s chief sanitary inspector, sparked an outburst of criticism and ridicule on Twitter. Dozens of users circulated a picture of a glass of kefir with the caption, “Kefir? NO! I’m driving!”
Officials have scrambling to condemn drunk driving since an intoxicated driver in September killed seven people, including five orphans, after crashing into a bus stop in Moscow. Some lawmakers have proposed life sentences for drivers who cause death while under the influence. One has said drunk driving is a bigger threat than terrorism.
During a hearing of the Public Chamber, a governmental oversight body, on a proposal to raise the minimum blood-alcohol level for drivers, Onishchenko said kefir lovers “should decide — are you going to get behind the wheel, or drink kefir?”