crime

24-yr-old man admits inhaling herb prior to accident

15 Comments

Police in Tokyo said Tuesday that a 24-year-old man arrested after a traffic accident in Shibuya has admitted to inhaling a hallucinogenic herb prior to the crash.

The man, identified as Keita Watanabe, told police he had inhaled the substance just before the accident at around 1 a.m. Monday, TBS reported.

According to police, Watanabe's car swerved into oncoming traffic and hit a large truck. Watanabe sustained light injuries in the crash.

Police said an officer shone a pocket light into Watanabe's eyes and noticed that his pupils did not react. Furthermore, upon being asked to step out of the vehicle, Watanabe was sloppy and stumbled onto the pavement.

This year, there has been an increasing number of accidents caused by drivers under the influence of quasi-legal herbs, which are now referred to as "dangerous drugs" instead of "loophole drugs."

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15 Comments
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I just hope he has enough insurance to pay for all the damage. Does he get charged for anything? DUI or reckless driving? Anything at all?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Oh, he's going to jail for such an incident, for sure.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I mean, he has admitted to DUI but is that a criminal offense? I hope he doesn't just walk away to smoke something else.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Throw him in the slammer! I don´t care what people sniff/drink/smoke in their home, but when they drive a car, it becomes an issue for society.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

This year, there has been an increasing number of accidents caused by drivers under the influence of quasi-legal herbs, which are now referred to as “dangerous drugs” instead of “loophole drugs.”

If its "legal", then start regulating it!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I mean, he has admitted to DUI but is that a criminal offense?

A criminal offense is a violation of the law. You can be fine or imprisoned or both for DUI in Japan.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Yeah, but before you go predicting jail terms, there was that singer/actor last week that got caught with 90 extacey tablets and only got a suspended sentence. I guess this is not famous. He's just infamous, so he'll get ten years.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

That's a spate of four accidents in three days involving designer drugs (dangerous drugs) in Tokyo.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Driving is a complex skill and you have to be awfully stupid to drive a car after getting high on a hallucinogenic herb. It's just like driving after drinking alcohol. Drugged driving puts at risk not only the driver but also the passenger and others who share the road. Drugs can impair faculties necessary to drive your car safely. These include motor skills, balance, and coordination, perception, attention, reaction time, and judgment. So even small amounts of some drugs can have a measurable effect on driving ability. Get smart.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This is so odd and the guilty party must be especially stupid. I've never known a Japanese who was not deathly afraid of driving even after drinking just one beer - the consequences of getting pulled over and prosecuted for this are so severe. What made this moron think that the effects of the drug would be such that he could still drive?

DisillusionedSEP. 16, 2014 - 05:54PM JST Yeah, but before you go predicting jail terms, there was that singer/actor last week that got caught with 90 extacey tablets and only got a suspended sentence.

As you say, first, the perp's not famous and, second, while the Japanese authorities are in general pretty unsophisticated about "recreational" drugs, they probably understand that there is a substantial difference between the affects of synthetics hallucinogenics and ecstasy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

a hallucinogenic herb*

What is it?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

JTDanMan:

It is most likely Salvia divinorum which is a member of the sage family. The active ingredient is Salvinorin A and is a powerful hallucinogen that has a specificity for a single receptor on the brain. Therefore it works in the same place in the brain as morphine and other pain reducers known as opioids. What's interesting is the research that indicates a possibility of eventually leading to new drugs that might be used to treat Alzheimer's, schizophrenia, and other diseases.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I could be wrong but judging from the mention of "loophole drugs" and "quasi-legal herbs" (often previously referred to as 脱法ハーブ) I assume that he consumed some form of synthetic "designer drug": a structural analog designed to mimic the effects of the original drug while avoiding being classified as illegal. These analogs are often sold in a form that resembles flakey green-brown herbs, hence the name. Because these drugs undergo little to no testing or screening their side effects can be unpredictable.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Jeff Huffman

I've never known a Japanese who was not deathly afraid of driving even after drinking just one beer - the consequences of getting pulled over and prosecuted for this are so severe.

Say what? I regularly see Japanese pour themselves into a car and weave off down the road after a night that the local bar. The local JP don't even have to try to get their quota of DUIs, they just set up a roadblock on the known street used by DUI drivers to bypass the main street and haul them in like fish out of a barrel. The drug problem will only get worse as the younger Japanese society looks for thrills outside the Geritol straight and narrow. Like Richard said, " I'm not addicted to cocaine. I just like the way it smells"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is most likely Salvia divinorum which is a member of the sage family.

Salvia has been illegal in Japan for quite some time. Not only that, the salvia "high" (if you can even call it that) lasts 10-30 seconds tops. But, that's a very powerful half minute, you certainly could NOT drive while doing it (nor almost anything else but sit down).

It was likely "spice" / K2, which is one of those loophole drugs. It's synthetic marijuana, but it's much more harmful, imo. It's made of chemicals and often sold with a label that reads "incense, not to be consumed."

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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