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Alcohol detected on breath of U.S. serviceman after fatal crash in Okinawa

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Get real that is so out of topic and way off target. The various aisles and different drinks is not about being supportive of drinking irresponsibly, but rather sales.

Sure it is about sales and more sales and then more sales. It constitutes enabling and just reinforces how important alcohol is in military culture. When a person walks into a military convenience store and the ratio of alcohol products to food products is 3 to 1, it just reinforces and normalizes the use of alcohol. I drink, sometimes I get a bit drunk. I don't advocate getting rid of alcohol, but when you have excessive access, its use and consumption becomes trivialized,and not something that needs to be treated with respect and care.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Time to say bye bye to American soldiers and base workers. Less crime.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The military if taking this kind of action should also enforce what it preaches by conducting random testing and enforcing mandatory coming and leaving the bases breath analyzer testing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

re: The military wonders why it has a drinking problem, all you have to do is walk into one of the AAFES stores on base

Get real that is so out of topic and way off target. The various aisles and different drinks is not about being supportive of drinking irresponsibly, but rather sales. There are many out there who do know how to conduct and drink responsibly.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For clarity, in Japan the legal limit is BrAC 0.15 mg/L (equivalent to 0.03%) but, and this is a big but, if the police decide that alcohol was a factor in an incident then the driver will be prosecuted for DUI whatever his/her alcohol level therefore, for all practical purposes, the limit is zero.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oh...and putting everyone in Okinawa on Tier 3 status....pretty strong reaction by the brass...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@nakanoguy - you are right. If you take a cross section of any sector of society you will always end up with a few strange folks or "bad apples" (I would imagine this would apply to a cross section of JT posters too!)

@Educator - good he is with the Japanese police now, but will be interesting if it stays that way or the military steps in and takes control of his punishment.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

a lot of military guys commenting today. first, thanks for your service. and second, i hate it when they blame the military for instances like these. it's not the military's fault. it's the fault of one maroon. needless to say, there will be knee-jerk reactions (again) to this on both sides.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yes, keep clam and don't be shellfish. This is no time to be flexing your mussels. Return to your crustacean.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Abe will tell that Okinawa govonor to shut up and keep clam the protestors there!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The military wonders why it has a drinking problem, all you have to do is walk into one of the AAFES stores on base and the reason will be clear. Let's take the most mind boggling of these; the Kadena on base service station. It has exactly two and a half center shelves with automobile related merchandise. The other three double sided aisles are alcohol. Everything from hard liquor to wine and beer. Between the aisles and on the ends are cases of craft beers and ciders stacked 3 or 4 high. The AAFES run convenience stores are the same. One or two aisles of junk food and the rest alcohol.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

All servicemembers on Okinawa are under “Tier 3 Liberty Status” until further notice and prohibited from consuming alcohol on or off base, according to a message issued Sunday evening by Commander Fleet Activities Okinawa.

“All off base liberty is secured immediately,” said the message, which cited U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. Forces Japan as its source. “If you live off base, you are authorized to travel only to and from work.”

The fatal collision could ignite further opposition to the U.S. military presence on Okinawa, where a string of alcohol-fueled incidents last year inspired protests and efforts to combat the problem.

Taken from the Stars and Stripes.

While not unexpected considering the nature of the crime, I do however believe it is a knee-jerk over reaction, that will not solve anything. But then again, it's the military, so everyone has to pay the price.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Here we go again with this type of "news". A DRUNK US military person in OKINAWA KILLED a JAPANESE man.

Get ready to hear about the huge backlash and long going uprising racial tension between the people of Okinawa vs. the US military over the next few months.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

ogogoToday  08:10 am JST

“@Educator60: You clearly skipped over the part of "not defending the guy".”

No, I definitely noticed that but don’t get why you were pointing out that he wouldn’t have been very intoxicated. Unless it was a public service announcement to remind people that even if they only have one beer they can be impaired enough for someone to end up dead?

Tokyo Eng,

”he should be handed over to the Japan justice system”

Its my understanding that he was arrested by Japanesd police.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Almost sounds like the guy was out too late the night before and was still drunk from the previous Saturday night binge. Really tragic for the man that lost his life and this kids career and life are basically over. Personally in these cases I think he should be handed over to the Japan justice system, which I am sure would treat him harshly but the U.S. military will not be kind to this young man.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Educator60: You clearly skipped over the part of "not defending the guy".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I just heard in the radio some Captain announced that effective immediately all military service members all over Japan are not allowed to consume or buy alcohol on or off base.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And round and around we go ad infinitum

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Was it really a "military vehicle"?

Technically it was a "military" vehicle. However it was a Mitsubishi made Canter type truck, civilian use, white, open bed, right hand drive, a type often seen on the streets here in Japan.

The only thing "military" about the truck was the person driving it, and the folks who owned it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Like this article, Stars and Stripes also isn't providing much clarification of this tragedy.

See https://www.stripes.com/bac-of-marine-involved-in-fatal-okinawa-crash-was-triple-japan-s-limit-police-say-1.498560

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Looking at this from the outside, we have a lot of victims here no matter who is right or wrong. One thing should be recognized by our individual countries is that a War Machine can not mix with a Civilian Machine.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Was it really a "military vehicle"? Was the 21 year old Marine on duty at the time?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is SaikoPsycho confusing the idea of the driver putting on the right turn signal/winker in his truck, with the traffic light/signal indicating that vehicles turning right have the right of way?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Saiko

Nonono, you misunderstand me. My "if" was pointing out the different sequencing possibilities. At junctions with lights in Japan, you either have a simple green light and no filtering, which means the light truck driver would have to give way; or there is a filtering system, which means the light truck driver would have been at red whilst the lanes on his left could proceed. Then the lights change so those on his left are at red, oncoming traffic including the military vehicle are at red, and the light truck driver can turn right.

It's not necessarily the most intuitive or efficient sequencing, I'll readily admit, but them's the rules whilst driving Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You guys are coming back with "ifs" and other reports... again, what is written in this article, suggests he may not have been at fault, drunk or not. Sorry if that rubs you the wrong way... but that is the gist of this article.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Either way, what the hell was he doing on the road at that time on a Sunday AM?

read the article. He was drunk driving in a suspicious viechle and killed an innocent person. Pretty obvious.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Saiko

and just because the other driver had a "right" turn signal on, does not mean he should of or had the right of way to turn

Disagree. IF it was a simple unfiltered green light, then yes, the light truck should give way to the oncoming military truck. BUT the report clearly says that there was a right turn signal on for the light truck driver. This means that it's a filtered right turn showing a green right arrow for the light truck driver, and therefore the oncoming military truck would have been facing a red light.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Cosmis1

“In that case the marine would have broke a red light”

SaikoPyscho,

”From what I'm reading... the Dead Man should not have turned... and that he caused his own death.”

Japanese reports indicate that at least one witness thought that James-McLean had run a red light.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The military truck was coming from the opposite direction.... and just because the other driver had a "right" turn signal on, does not mean he should of or had the right of way to turn. Was the Marine doing well above the speed limit? From what I'm reading... the Dead Man should not have turned... and that he caused his own death.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

USFJ on Okinawa already on lockdown.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@gogogo. 3 times the limit is a minimum of .09. More than legally drunk in the states. He could have slammed 3 beers 10 minutes before, and wouldn't have blown a .09.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It was the other driver making a right turn, not the marine.

In that case the marine would have broke a red light

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cosmos1,

“at 21 years of age i doubt he'd be experienced enough to negotiate making a right turn even while a right-turn signal was on.”

It was the other driver making a right turn, not the marine.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

RIP and thoughts to the family. The TV footage was shocking. 

I do not condone drink driving.

What is deplorably absent from this report is the exact blood/alcohol or breath/alcohol readings, which might inform the readership of the level of intoxication. But even if that measure were known, it does not preclude other factors such as inexperience, tiredness, distraction from phones etc. The bottom line is that the driver, alone, is entirely responsible for the performance of the vehicle.

No matter the US Military might require a second pair of eyes for LHD trucks (a surprising requirement, if true), the driver is still the one in charge of the vehicle and therefore wholly responsible in the eyes of the law.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why GIs in Okinawa cause trouble? Do military assign only good one to mainland and bad ones to Okinawa?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

American drunks always forget to drive on the right side of the road and at 21 years of age i doubt he'd be experienced enough to negotiate making a right turn even while a right-turn signal was on.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The GI’s should go home. Japan can defend itself by having its own nuclear deterrence.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@yaburu

the white utility/van types don’t require an A driver,tactical vehicles do. Not sure why he was out but could have been related to some type of duty at the military port in Naha or the airport.

yhr official story will be out by week’s end.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What happened to regulation created by military about a year Ago Military members were prohibited to drink off duty. Maybe they can drink on duty?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Nicholas James-McLean, 21, has been arrested and officials say he’s admitted the charges are correct.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Is the legal limit in Japan not zero?

It's not. It's 0.03: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drunk_driving_law_by_country#East_Asia

1 ( +2 / -1 )

A drivers are required for tactical vehicles, it appears that the vehicle in this case from what they showed on the news it was a utility type truck.

As in a Humvee perhaps? Either way, what the hell was he doing on the road at that time on a Sunday AM?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Is the legal limit in Japan not zero? And so is three times zero not zero?

Anyway, if he was drunk and killed a man as a result, the military should hand him over to Japanese authorities to be tried. However, knowing the witch hunt a minority of Okinawans are on to find anything and everything anti-base, the guy might get 40 years in prison when your average Japanese who kills someone while drunk driving -- probably 400 times as many incidents -- gets 1 or 2 years, so it'd be pretty hard to keep politics out of it.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Whatever the marine's age - the crux of the matter is what on earth was he doing in the vehicle alone?

Ongoing story. More to come, I'm sure.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yubaru,

Thanks for the info. As what I’ve seen so far doesn’t mention anyone else in the military vehicle, I’m now even wondering if he was even in duty at the time. Could he have taken the truck on his own without permission?

BTW Saw this on the TV news this evening. This article says the marine is in his 20s, TV was more specific, saying he is 21.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I believe they changed the rules here regarding alcohol level and limits . Same on base as of base.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@ yaburu

A drivers are required for tactical vehicles, it appears that the vehicle in this case from what they showed on the news it was a utility type truck.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Drunk AND went through a red light AND killed. Unbelievable. Time for mainland Japan to take some of the burden from Okinawa IF they REALLY cannot do without the US military.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Then I started wondering whether Marines drive military vehicles on their own, not in pairs?

For smaller vehicles yes, but for the trucks NO, they are required to have what is called, or used to be called an "A" driver, as the vehicles are left hand drive they need a second pair of eyes for the opposite side.

If this guy was alone, he was outside the lines big time. There is more to this story, hope there are updates.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Maybe he drank the night before and it was still in his blood.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

As much as I defend the military presence in Japan by the USA, there is no excuse for this kind of behavior and to make things worse a life was lost and it was done while on duty.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

gogogo,

“they guy certainly wasn't super drunk, most likely 1 beer if that.”

And yet a man is now dead. And at 5:25 in the morning.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Well it’s all over the local news here in Okinawa... going to be a long week for some of us ...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Bones, thanks for the reply but you missed the point, "if someone is going to do something stupid and senseless the last thing on their mind is a saying or slogan, sad but true.:and forget the 10% all it takes is one who doesn't listen to the message that "don't drink and drive means exactly that, not one drop...The fact that this even happened on a GOV, well guess it will take drastic measures to ensure breath analyzers before anyone drives a GOV. hmmm make that to a POV as well. It's a pain but well all it takes is the 10% or 1 to ruin it for everyone else.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The police said they are questioning the serviceman in his 20s on a voluntary basis. He was three times over the legal limit in the breath test, they said.

Not defending the guy but just for perspective since the limit in Japan is "detectable" so around .01 or .02 percentage, they guy certainly wasn't super drunk, most likely 1 beer if that.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Then I started wondering whether Marines drive military vehicles on their own, not in pairs?

Aye, E60.

Something not quite right here.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

That poor man who died. I’ve realky got no patience with drunk drivers. It’s bad enough when Marines get drunk and drive their own private vehicles. My first thought was, do they not check for alcohol before letting Marines drive military vehicles? Then I thought maybe he was checked and was ok, and then did the drinking after getting the vehicle? Then I started wondering whether Marines drive military vehicles on their own, not in pairs?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Once again, a Japanese life is lost due to selfish, inconsiderate and dangerous behaviour on the part of the "guests".

What the hell was he doing in that truck, 3 times over the limit?

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Just to be perfectly honest, I doubt that any heads are "going to roll" over this. There will be a quick transfer back to the USA. Or Trump will get him out like he got those basketball thieves out of China.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Just saw on the news today of Americans (service members and their families) doing such a nice thing for the caves that were vandalized. It was such a nice display of good Americans which they clearly are. But then this happens. Just as things were getting better. As I mentioned in an earlier post, my condolences to this man who was just getting ready to enjoy retired life. Condolences to his family as well. Sad.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Oh crap .. it was a Marine!

smell a lockdown coming.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

...and the holiday season is upon us!

might be a dry Christmas!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@bjohnson

No matter how many slogans or sayings the come up with, it will never deter that %10.

if someone is going to do something stupid and senseless the last thing on their mind is a saying or slogan, sad but true.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

He was three times over the legal limit in the breath test, they said., hmmmm. so much for the AFN messages "not one drop" guess it's no laughing matter now.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

First off, condolences to the loss of life and his family and other loved ones. This is really not good. The doo doo is really going to hit the fan. This will be all over local news and even national news. I see lots of restrictions back into effect and more protests. Another sad day in Okinawa.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Oh boy, not good at all!

sorry for the loss of life and the family that has to deal with it all.

heads are gonna roll over this!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The police said they are questioning the serviceman in his 20s on a voluntary basis. He was three times over the legal limit in the breath test, they said.

On a separate note here, take his arse into custody, with the change in the agreements between Japan and the US Military you can and you should just toss him in jail until you charge him and send him to the prosecutors. 10 to 15 years.

A witness told the police the military truck hit the minitruck as the latter vehicle was making a right turn from the opposite direction while a right-turn signal was on.

Meaning the military truck also ran a red light as well!

How in the hell did this guy sign out the truck in his condition? There are some other heads that are probably going to roll too!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M35_series_2%C2%BD-ton_6x6_cargo_truck

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Drunk driving in a military vehicle and killing someone......sheeet is going to hit the fan big time!

20 ( +20 / -0 )

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