Arrests of US service members for drunk driving rise 45%

December 11, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo

One year has passed since the U.S. military in Japan revised its ‘liberty policy’, the code of conduct for the U.S. service members and civilian employees in Okinawa, and allowed staying out and drinking off base during off-duty hours.

According to the Okinawa Prefectural Police, 42 U.S. service members were arrested for driving while drunk for the period between December 9, 2014 and December 8, 2015. The figure rose 44.8 percent over the same period the previous year, when 29 service members were arrested.

The Okinawa Prefectural Police takes measures to prevent drunk driving among U.S. service members, including giving lectures on the U.S. bases about Japanese traffic regulations and local transportation conditions. The police also provides information on traffic accidents to the on-base radio station.

In response to the increase of U.S. service members driving while under the influence of alcohol, an official of the Okinawa Prefecture Police commented, “We will continue giving traffic safety education to U.S. service members.”

(English translation by T&CT, Hitomi Shinzato)

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