But Langford Banda isn’t going to face criminal charges or even get a traffic ticket — thanks to his diplomatic immunity.
Banda, 41 — whose blood-alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit — was simply allowed to sober up overnight at the 112th Precinct station house before walking away scot-free.
“He was a total mess,” a law-enforcement source told The Post. “He got off because he’s a diplomat. Not our choice.”
Banda, who works as the second secretary of communications for the African nation’s UN mission, lost control of his 2006 BMW and sideswiped the parked van on 180th Street near 90th Avenue shortly after midnight on Monday.
Despite their minor injuries, the officers in the van pulled over the boozy diplomat and immediately saw his “bloodshot eyes” and found he “reeked of alcohol” as he tried to talk, sources said.
Banda could hardly hold himself upright as he stepped out of the car for a Breathalyzer test, on which he blew a staggering .158 blood alcohol level — almost twice the legal limit of .08, the sources said.
He was so boozed up, he didn’t even remember he possessed a Get Out of Jail Free card — his Zambian diplomatic credentials.
Cops were unaware that Banda had diplomatic immunity until they got him back to the 112th Precinct station house in Forest Hills and realized he was carrying a US State Department ID that showed he’s a member of Zambia’s UN mission.
After confirming Banda’s identity with his homeland and conferring with their superiors, cops were left with no choice but to release him without charging him with a crime.
The Zambian was picked up at the station house by his wife, Ellen, who drove him back to their home in Jamaica, where he was able to sleep off his hangover. The Post found him a few hours after his release, still lounging in a pair of pajamas. With bloodshot eyes, he tried to downplay the international incident.
“It was nothing like that,” Banda proclaimed when asked about the drunken-driving allegations. “I was involved in an accident but I was not drinking.”
Officials at the Zambian Mission’s offices on East 52nd Street in Manhattan declined to comment.
Source: New York Post