US military civilian worker arrested on suspicion of drink driving, causing accident

June 26, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo

At 5:24 a.m. on June 26, Okinawa prefectural police arrested a civilian worker at a United States air base on suspicion of violating the Road Traffic Law (driving under the influence of alcohol). The culprit, who lives in the Goya district of Okinawa City, denied the charge, stating that he did not think he drove under the influence of alcohol, though he said that he had drunk alcohol the day before the accident. The man is said to be working as a sales person on the base. Following the alleged murder and rape of a 20-year-old Okinawan woman by an ex-US marine, the US military has encouraged its service members in Okinawa to voluntarily refrain from drinking alcohol and having parties off base and outside their houses and going out between 12 and 5 a.m. to express regret for the victim. Although civilian workers were not obliged to follow the request, Okinawa area coordinator strongly recommended them do to so. It started from May 27 and was scheduled to last until June 28.

According to the Okinawa City Police, the suspect had a minor collision with a minivan driven by a Japanese man at an intersection in the Tobaru district of Okinawa City around 4:28 a.m. on June 26. The victim was carried to a local hospital and appeared to have a minor injury. The police administered a breath test for the suspect, which indicated a blood- alcohol level higher than the legal limit.

It is reported that the suspect went through the intersection, travelling west to east, when the red light signal was blinking. He collided with the minivan driven by the Japanese man who went through the intersection from south to north while the yellow signal was blinking.

(English translation by T&CT)

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