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Drunken driver crashes car; back behind wheel 4 hours later

84 Comments

Police said Monday they have arrested a man who they believe drove under the influence twice in Miyazaki on New Year's Day. The man, who has been identified as Naoyuki Ito, 48, had his first run-in with police at 10 a.m. on Jan 1 when his car left the road and plowed into a rice field.

A bystander notified police who arrived on the scene to find Ito and a male acquaintance, aged 56, in an extremely inebriated state. Despite eyewitness reports, police were unable to establish which of the men was driving the car at the time of the accident, so both were sent home.

About four hours later, the officer who had dealt with the accident was on patrol duty and found Ito and the same male acquaintance driving drunk again. The officer questioned the men and arrested them at the scene.

During police questioning, the pair said they were on their way to a shrine to pray for a safe and happy year. Later that afternoon, the pair decided to go and play pachinko. Police are currently investigating the possibility that Ito's passenger also drove under the influence.

© Compiled from news reports

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Despite eyewitness reports, police were unable to establish which of the men was driving the car at the time of the accident, so both were sent home.

I'm speechless.

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Don't these police officers know the law in Japan?! Even passengers who ride with a drunk driver can be fined and/or put it jail! These two fools should have bee dealt with according the first time. Very luck that they didn't crash, injuring or killing other people.

Pretty ironic that these guys prayed for a safe and happy new year...geesh!

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oops.. too many typos!

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Idiots, all.

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Police are currently investigating the possibility that Ito’s passenger also drove under the influence.

Let's not ponder on that theory for too long, playing pachinko is a serious matter.

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I seriously question the competence of a police force that:

a) Trained the police who let the two drunks go. It is common knowledge (at least it should be to enforcement officers) that both the driver and passengers of a vehicle are subject to punishment if the driver is found to be inebriated and the passengers knowingly ride in the vehicle despite this.

b) Have not decided to punish the police officers involved in this fiasco. They have failed in their duty to enforce the law and by doing so have placed the public at considerable risk. The pair DID drunkenly drive again and could have injured or killed while doing so.

People should be clamoring for the officers' and chief's head!

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The stupidity and utter inefficiency of the Japanese police will always amaze me...Things I wonder about this story though...After the first accident, did they send them home in the same car?(meaning they would have pulled it out of the rice field!!!) did they get caught again later in a different car ? (I suppose so but then,whose car was it???)

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Hahaha...it's good to hear funny stories, could make a nice comedy.

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This is not funny.

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Not enough information to make any judgements here. It sounds as though the Police were wanting to find some way of keeping community relations sweet, and were glad that no-one was injured and no damage was done. The available punishment of 300,000 yen each may have been too heavy. Maybe the guys said they had crashed and then gone for a drink and returned to try and move the car... (?) No witnesses to say that they had actually driven drunk. They probably hoped that these two would go home and stay quiet and safe and all would be forgotten.

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Despite eyewitness reports, police were unable to establish which of the men was driving the car at the time of the accident, so both were sent home.

mmm... they were both sent home WITH A POLICE OFFICER so that the police officer could do investigation.

while i think they should have been sent to the police station, not home, but just to give some credits to the police, they didn't just let them go home by themselves.

FYI, the guy sitting in the passenger seat WAS charged as well.

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Despite eyewitness reports, police were unable to establish which of the men was driving the car at the time of the accident, so both were sent home.

What a complete disgrace. What would have happened if they had injured or killed someone?

Here's an idea: arrest both of them then lock them up until one of them talks. I thought that was standard police procedure here? Or is that only for foreigners who are accused of drug smuggling?

The officers should be demoted to standing outside of somewhere with a stick. Idiots.

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Japanese police are too stupid to catch a cold!

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MrDog, no one was injured. Sober people also drive into rice paddies.

To everyone: We read about DUI all the time, maybe at least two dozen articles a year. Meanwhile most of the 724,811 accidents last year were sober, yet, nary a peep about them. The MSM cherry picks, its as obvious as the nose on your face, but you folks just keep falling for it and ranting on and on about drunk driving.

Whatever you say about the police, they have more important things to do than bow to your plea for overboard treatment of DUI.

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Fishy...where exactly does it say they were sent home with an officer ??? Runwithscissors...True that no one was hurt. But what if ? What would you say ? I'd like to know.

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What if? We could play that game with both sober drivers and those who drank some. Fact is, old drivers account for more accidents and deaths than other other group hands down. We hear about DUI all day and all night, but statistics tell us the focus is wrong far beyond ridiculousness. The crackdown on DUI netted less than a one percent decrease in traffic deaths last year. Meanwhile, half of all traffic deaths were 65 or older and that is way, way more than their percentage of general population. How many were actually the cause of the accident and that for being old? I don't know. They don't tabulate that for some reason. But I can PERSONALLY GUARANTEE its more than DUI was the cause. Obviously, we need to crack down on old people, not guys who just crashed a car into a rice patty, which I say again, happens all the time.

Fishy does not know I should think. But (s)he is probably correct. Even if wrong it is still smarter to make that assumption that to chew out the police for something they might not have done, don't you think?

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Fishy...where exactly does it say they were sent home with an officer

ok, i should have said that i read Japanese news.

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fishy

The report I saw on Fuji TV this morning did not say that they were sent home with a police officer, as if they were naughty schoolboys. Police do not do that. From what I could tell, they remained at the scene until their car was pulled out of the rice paddy, and then they drove away in it (most likely with a stern warning)... only to get into trouble again a few hours later.

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regardless of where these drunk guys were taken, held, charged, or whatever you want to call it, the keystones obviously let them go to get caught again 4 hours later. WTF!? Were the keystones drunk too?

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Runwithscissors...It's not a question of playing a game even if I agree that after a certain age, driving tests and controls should be implemented. I'm only talking about drunk drivers because they do something deliberate that they know will render them unable to drive properly. Smartacus...Thanks for the update.I quite suspected that they had been sent back in their car.Since they got in trouble driving again later, I doubted it was in a different car.This makes me mad but doesn't surprised me.But should have worse happened, who was to blame...the drivers or the policemen who simply could not be bothered to care about what could have happened ? Makes me think about these 2 policemen I saw this week-end walking by a guy who had passed out drunk on the pavement and they didn't even check him out when someone pointed him at them! With the cold weather, the guy might as well die or already have died...but none of their business...they just waved the guy away (who actually went back and shook the other one awake!)

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According to Yomiuri, it says that the police officer who rushed to the scene in the morning was conducting investigation with consent of the party concerned -- Nin-I Sousa (任意捜査)which makes me believe that the officer didn't just leave the men to go home... the men were free after a short period of time (probably had to pay fine and for the damage of the rice field) but it wouldn't surprise me that they were not put in prison or detained as they only damaged property as a result, and although I am not a big fan of Japanese police, I wouldn't call them idiots based on this incident... the real idiots are the men who drunk and drove TWICE (geez...).. I'm glad no one was hurt this time, and I hope they will charge them TWICE as they did it twice!!

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Well not to far back in time, that was the norm in japan. If you were stopped you could sleep it off in your car, maybe call a cab, or like these two, keep on driving.

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@runwithscissors

no one was injured. Sober people also drive into rice paddies.

Yeah, well being sober isn't a crime, is it?

This story isn't so much about the drunks, it's about the police being stupid.

Fishy does not know I should think. But (s)he is probably correct. Even if wrong it is still smarter to make that assumption that to chew out the police for something they might not have done, don't you think?

No, I don't. I'm not even sure what you're trying to say.

"Something they might not have done", well they let 2 drunks go who went on to DUI again 4 hours later, how is that for you? Something they certainly "didn't do" was their jobs properly.

Despite eyewitness reports, police were unable to establish which of the men was driving the car at the time of the accident, so both were sent home.

This is one of the reasons the police here are pathetic. Ignoring eye-witness reports and can't even use common sense. I can visualise the lightbulb pinging on above his stupid head, "2 men, drunk, in a car that has just crashed. I can't tell which one was driving, so I'll let them go! Forget questioning them, they only committed a crime, no risk to anyone". Twisted logic.

RE: 任意捜査, has anyone else seen that video on YouTube with the moron cop ignoring a traffic accident to repeatedly question a guy about his bike? "Doesn't matter if anyone is injured or maybe almost dead, this guy might have stolen this bike!". That's the stupidity of 任意捜査.

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i think according to the newest laws here in Japan both should have been arrested the first time and NOT SENT HOME!!! what`s up with that?

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On the way to the shrine, the Kei car rolled onto its side in a field according to J press release. They were sent home on the understanding that their case was still under investigation. They were seen later driving a Kei car, which the same investigating cop recognized, on their way to play pachinko. Both were arrested and charged with the lighter offense of Shuki-obi Unten.

The assumption is that it was the same car, although this is not explicitly stated anywhere, so somehow they must have managed to return to the field and get the car upright, out of the rice paddy and working again... all small unimportant details that are surely of no interest to the average intelligent reader.

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runwithscissors - reading about your own personal history with getting a DUI which you shared on another thread, its apparent you are angry with getting caught yourself. And it just doesn't happen in Japan. A friend of mine in Canada was charged for simply getting behind the wheel of his parked car while under the influence outside a bar. Long story short; If you can't do the time, don't do the crime. These two idiots could have taken out a few kids, and I have no sympathy for them and even less for the idiot cop who let them go WITHOUT BEING CHARGED.

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IMHO, its also possible these guys did no crime. Just because someone writes a law does not really mean something is a real crime you know. Sometimes the criminal is the writer of the law. If not, Stalin, Saddam, and Mao are all good to go. I think not.

I see traffic violations every single day in this country I want to see cracked down on more than having a beer or two and driving. Stats prove the focus is wrong and THAT my friend, is what is criminal. People are literally dying for the DUI hysteria. Only the government profits.

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runwithscissors: "To everyone: We read about DUI all the time, maybe at least two dozen articles a year."

How many of them involve police letting two drunk guys go home because they ignore eye-witness reports, and then the same guys getting caught by police four hours later? My guess: NONE! Why, because the other DUI reports you hear of almost always, if not always, involve the guilty party being ARRESTED and not allowed to drive again for a while.

Once again, the J-police at their finest. Evidently 2011 is going to be another year for J-police 'comedy'.

"Sometimes the criminal is the writer of the law. If not, Stalin, Saddam, and Mao are all good to go. I think not."

What?? So drinking and driving should not be an offense in your eyes? Should they have let these guys go the second time too and waited for a third offense?

"IMHO, its also possible these guys did no crime."

They drove drunk -- that's against the law, ergo a crime. Is it really that hard for you to understand the definition of 'crime' and see what these guy's did is against the law, and the police utterly stupid and incapable of doing their jobs for having let them go? That kind of thinking is simply CRIMINAL (see what I did there? Like you I took a word and changed the literal meaning for one that is metaphorical!).

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It is always sad to read comments from people so eager to throw freedom under the bus despite a serious lack of information (a BAC for example) and faith in the fraud that is the breathalyzer test, and also knowing that the DUI crackdown has saved scant few lives while some other focus could have saved many more.

People scream for crackdowns and total rigidity from police, but you know they will be the first to complain about police harrassment when it all comes back to bite them on the behind. May the complainers lose their license and go to jail for eating too much takuan and driving into a rice paddy...yes, that will set off the breathalyzer. So will so-called non-alcoholic drinks.

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A bystander notified police who arrived on the scene to find Ito and a male acquaintance, aged 56, in an extremely inebriated state.

runwithscissors - what part of this sentence don't you understand?

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runwithscissors: "It is always sad to read comments from people so eager to throw freedom under the bus despite a serious lack of information (a BAC for example) and faith in the fraud that is the breathalyzer test..."

As opposed to what kind of test -- the test of J-police judgement in such matters? Clearly it's lacking as much as ever.

"...and also knowing that the DUI crackdown has saved scant few lives while some other focus could have saved many more."

The 'could have saved many more' part is simply supposition, whereas the recent report that traffic fatalities were down for the tenth year in a row, while DUI crack-down has increased, seems to lend support to the idea that it's working to an extent.

"People scream for crackdowns and total rigidity from police..."

People scream for police to do their jobs, but they seem unable to.

"May the complainers lose their license and go to jail for eating too much takuan and driving into a rice paddy...yes, that will set off the breathalyzer. So will so-called non-alcoholic drinks."

Once again you take non-arguments and off-topic supposition and use it to try and undermine the facts of this article. The criminals in question drove under the influence and were caught TWICE (and let go the first time). Quick question that will put an end to this: is it, or is it not, against the law to drink and drive? forget about your opinion on the matter, just try to answer the question.

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Just because some random witness claims someone is drunk does not mean they actually are.

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@runwithscissors

Read first.

Despite eyewitness reports, police were unable to establish which of the men was driving the car at the time of the accident, so both were sent home.

From reading this article it seems that the witness didn't say anything about being drunk, just about who was driving.

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smithinjapan at 08:16 PM JST - 4th January equals drama. I made a point. If you don't want to address it, don't quote me.

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runwithscissors:"It is always sad to read comments from people so eager to throw freedom under the bus despite a serious lack of information (a BAC for example) and faith in the fraud that is the breathalyzer test,"

I wrote this to you in a post on the same subject but it seems you either chose to ignore it or are hoping if you repeat your own falsehoods they will become the truth.

As a former Paramedic and rescue worker I have personally seem what drunk driver like yourself have done all claiming "but I only had one drink" and "the test are not accurate".

The most annoying thing is that more often than not the drunk responsible for the whole thing walks away without a scratch while those he hit are seriously injured or dead.

The breathalyzers used today are extremely accurate (and as I also wrote if you are so sure the test is wrong you have the right to request a blood test) and only those caught drunk driving and their lawyer challenge it and lose every time ( most often because they refused the blood test ore the blood test confirmed the breath test).

You also love to bring up you "freedom" as in the above and your "rights" as in your previous postings.

Well here again are the facts DRIVING IS A PRIVILEGE and NOT A RIGHT!

You and these men or anyone else can jump up and down and cream all you want but this is a fact in just about every country including the USA, Canada, the EU, etc... a PRIVILEGE, NOT A RIGHT, you can look that one up.

So if you cannot follow the rules you lose that privilege plain and simple.

I say throw the book at these idiots and any other idiot that chooses to drink and drive and I have zero sympathy for them!

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runwithscissors: "equals drama. I made a point. If you don't want to address it, don't quote me."

You could not even answer the simple question as to whether or not drinking and driving is against the law.... why should we take you seriously if you can't even answer such a straight-forward question?

"Just because some random witness claims someone is drunk does not mean they actually are."

As opposed to a proven drunk saying they are not drunk and are within the law, after being caught TWICE, for example? hahaha. Seriously, dude... quite while you're only WAY behind.

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I find it somewhat ironic that a guy who calls himself runwithscissors suggests he knows what's best for people and what is or isn't dangerous.

One more time, runwithscissors: Is it against the law to drink and drive? yes or no? You can avoid the question all you like, but it won't help your argument to do so.

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There are many questions that are unanswered in the articles (other sources) one of which is whether or not the driver/friend were over the alcohol limit at the accident.

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nigelboy -

There are many questions that are unanswered in the articles (other sources) one of which is whether or not the driver/friend were over the alcohol limit at the accident.

oh dear, oh dear. Not reading the story at all, are we? BOTH were in an EXTREMELY inebriated state. They crashed the car into a rice paddy. If the law in Japan is .03 (compared to .08 in Can/USA) where does that lead you?? Good God, man. Have the sense to slink away from this one like runwithscissors has.

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nigelboy:"there are many questions that are unanswered in the articles (other sources) one of which is whether or not the driver/friend were over the alcohol limit at the accident."

@Nigleboy you consistently love to showoff your knowledge of all things Japan.

So for once we actually would like you to use that knowledge, correct me (and my neighbors one J-cop and one lawyer) that Japan's equivalent in BAC previously was 0.03% but that it is now Zero tolerance.

I have looked but it seems ambiguous, there seems to be some leeway for officers but that the official view is Zero.

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hoserfella.

You're assuming. If indeed they were tested and were over the limit, they would be ARRESTED purusuant to procedure under Road Traffic Law. They weren't arrested so there are two scenarios which is that the cop didn't test them or tested them but were under the limit.

Crashing into a rice paddy (where there is a ditch) in narrow rural roads in Japan is an everyday occurance. Are you going to claim that most of that is attributed to DUI?

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limboinjapan

Actually, it's both. The police use the test as well as his/her own determination to decide whether the arrest is warranted or not.

0.15 is the maximum where the police start assessing penalities (points) on your driving record.

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Do all those criticizing the j-cops really think they are so bumbling and ineffective that they would intentionally let a drunk driver back on the road if they could legally arrest them? And what would be their motivation?

Clearly there is MUCH more to this story than is in this article. I've had a relative killed by a drunk driver so I am about the last person to defend one, but if it cannot be determined who was driving what exactly should the cops do? Arrest everyone and a few bystanders for good measure?

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Do all those criticizing the j-cops really think they are so bumbling and ineffective that they would intentionally let a drunk driver back on the road if they could legally arrest them? And what would be their motivation?

Um...they did let them go. their motivation would be plain stupidity.

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Do all those criticizing the j-cops really think they are so bumbling and ineffective that they would intentionally let a drunk driver back on the road if they could legally arrest them?

Yes. They obviously did in this case. Have you read the article?? They also ignored eye-witness statements. I hope they get seriously demoted or even fired because they obviously aren't cut out for law enforcement.

And what would be their motivation?

Stupidity? Bad training? Over-the-top adherance to the book?

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What's with all these people claiming alternative realities and conspiracy theories? I can understand that JT probably has left things out of the story, but I think it's pretty straightforward that a drunk and his friend crashed the car (which is illegal) and the cop(s) responding let them go (which is wrong). Compounding both parties' errors, the drunks proceeded to drive the crashed car again and were luckily caught.

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Yes. They obviously did in this case. Have you read the article??

OF COURSE I read the article. It says specifically "Despite eyewitness reports, police were unable to establish which of the men was driving the car at the time of the accident, so both were sent home." That means professional police officers let these guys go because they could not legally arrest them, which is what I said in the first place. Did you not read what I said?

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The breathalyzers used today are extremely accurate

No, they are not. Criticisms of the breathalyzer test abound. You have the internet. Stop repeating your nonsense and google it. The breathalyzer is bogus. Oh, sure, it works in the lab. But those lab presumptions do NOT work in the real world, and yes, the administration of the test is all about assumptions. I don't care that you were a paramedic and saw what drunk driving can do. Its irrelevant. And surely you saw what sober drivers do too?

As for driving being a priviledge, that is a nice motto/mantra you got there. You have any idea how many people would be out of work without being able to drive? Or how many would have no time to do anyting but walk to the store to buy food? Driving is a necessity for many people in modern society, so give us a break.

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Smith, I answered your question. Needling for a simple yes or a no is just you throwing the truth under the bus so you can pound your chest. The law is not always fair or correct. The law is often like the theory that does not mesh with reality. The cops have to try and balance that theory with reality every single day. Well, I suggest you start leaning more toward reality. You will get less bellyaches for it, I promise.

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The cops have to try and balance that theory with reality every single day.

Theory? Are you saying the keystones couldnt even tell that they were drunk? If you are not, then both of the guys should have been arrested regardless of who was driving. In Japan, the passengers are just as guilty as the one driving drunk. If they had killed someone the second time around, do you think the cops would have let them go if they still couldn't figure out who was driving the car?

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Driving is a necessity for many people in modern society, so give us a break.

Maybe it's a necessity for many in modern society, but that makes it a necessary privlege for those that need to drive.

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From the scant info in the article, it could be that:

1) The eyewitnesses saw the accident but not who drove 2) The eyewitnesses gave conflicting statements 3) The eyewitnesses gave statements which contradicted the known facts

Any of which could have led to the conclusion that the police couldn't have been able to determine culpability. Is this somehow difficult to understand?

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Smorkian, if both were drunk and Japan punishes passengers who knowingly let a drunken driver drive, which it does, both should be charged regardless of who's driving, no? Is this somehow difficult to understand? Its ridiculous to even have this conversation with a few posters who will argue its nighttime at noon.

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Criticisms of the breathalyzer test abound. You have the internet. Stop repeating your nonsense and google it. The breathalyzer is bogus. Oh, sure, it works in the lab. But those lab presumptions do NOT work in the real world, and yes, the administration of the test is all about assumptions.

yes, breathalyzers only work in the lab. They are proven by the Internet to be completely wrong in all instances in "reality". lol...

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Smorkian, if both were drunk and Japan punishes passengers who knowingly let a drunken driver drive, which it does, both should be charged regardless of who's driving, no? Is this somehow difficult to understand?

So, it's more logical to conclude that the police couldn't establish either were even in the car, no? Unless you are the conspiracy minded type who really thinks a policeman would willingly release a drunk driver if he had a choice, which to me is a far bigger stretch.

So many people who are residents in Japan and posters on this board read something involving police and reflexively say "Ohhhh jcops are so useless and stupid!" even though they don't know any more facts than are printed in a short article. It says much more about the posters than it does the police.

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They are proven by the Internet to be completely wrong in all instances in "reality". lol...

Nice post! LOL! I love it!

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@smorkian

MrDog, where exactly does it say in this article that the eyewitnesses said "That man was driving!" and the police ignored them? From the scant info in the article, it could be that:

It doesn't, it says:

A bystander notified police who arrived on the scene to find Ito and a male acquaintance, aged 56, in an extremely inebriated state. Despite eyewitness reports, police were unable to establish which of the men was driving the car at the time of the accident, so both were sent home.

Which probably means that the witness said something like "one of those 2 guys were driving". That is why I worded my comment:

a witness said they saw one guy stab the victim.

Of course it's all speculation. But what we do know is that the police let 2 drunks, one of them driving and the other one a passenger, go free when both should have been arrested and charged, they ignored witness information and sent the guys home.

You trying to defend that, and failing, is kind of sad to watch.

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A crime is a crime.

Its so simple a child could understand it. But its supposed to be adults talking here. No coming upon murdered people is not comparable to coming upon a car in a rice paddy even if the occupants were drinking.

Oh, and driving is a privilage. If it was a right,

Again you are railroaded by your own simple mind. It does not need to be either 100 percent. Its a bit of both, sort of like freedom. Freedom can be taken away and rightly so, but you got to have good reasons to do that.

The officer sent the guys home. He had their details. They were not getting away. Most people would have reflected and stayed home, or at least not driven. These yahoos were the exception. Your knee-jerk response? Arrest everybody!

Fact is, an investigation was necessary to find out who to arrest for what. Arresting people for charges later found out to be incorrect can lead to guilty people going scott free...and man would you really complain then!

You need to get that 20/20 hindsight thing under control.

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Your knee-jerk response? Arrest everybody!

Hahahahahahaha, can you tell me the correct response to a DUI? Give them some cookies and a medal?

Fact is, an investigation was necessary to find out who to arrest for what. Arresting people for charges later found out to be incorrect can lead to guilty people going scott free...and man would you really complain then!

The fact is... drumroll ... both men committed a crime, there were witness' to it and the police themselves admit that the 2 guys were:

in an extremely inebriated state.

"Its so simple a child could understand it. But its supposed to be adults talking here".

That sir, I throw back to you, and stop this waste of time here, because you're obviously not going to listen to reason.

You need to get that stubbornness thing under control.

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yes, breathalyzers only work in the lab. They are proven by the Internet to be completely wrong in all instances in "reality". lol...

No. Like a broken clock they are correct twice a day.

You have not one clue how they work. You have not one clue how it could measure alcohol in the blood by stomach vapors coming out of the mouth. Yet you have faith in them. Foolish, to say the least. Tell me, do you think they could do the same with farts? Because the concept seems about as silly to me. You want to measure BAC? Take some blood. Anything else is obviously not a direct measure, and therefore, subject to inaccuracy. And that is NOT fair. Not in the slightest.

Even so, I could let it go if Japan offered alternative tests. They offer none.

So, did you google it or no? You don't have to just sit there and nay say me for kicks you know? You could research it for yourself.

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No. Like a broken clock they are correct twice a day

Ohh, so breathalyzers are wrong about 99.9% of the time. I wonder why the test is so commonly used. I'm glad the Google and the Internets proved them wrong!!

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If they had killed someone the second time around, do you think the cops would have let them go if they still couldn't figure out who was driving the car?

No, but they would have had more cause to spend valuable man hours on that case. If such a case came up, and they were still fooling around with these guys in a rice paddy which meant the killers got away, man would you be in an uproar! Face it, you want a perfect world and you are bitter, because everyday you never get it. Well, you never will. There are many many reasons to be critical of police. This was just bad luck for the police because most Japanese would not have been dumb enough to test their luck like that.

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You could research it for yourself.

I have. After downloading the Google on the Internets, I just randomly selected a representative sample of 3,000 people of relative age/gender/racial groups and separated them into a "control" test group of 1,000 which were given no alcoholic drinks, a group of 1,000 which were given moderate but non-legally intoxicating amounts of alcohol, and a group of 1,000 who got totally drunk by a mix of alcoholic beverages. After sending each group driving, I have concluded that the Googles and the Internets were indeed correct and that Bush/Cheney/Big Oil have manufactured the test to falsely imprison people 99.9% of the time.

I'm surprised that Amnesty International and the U.N. Human Rights team hasn't gotten on this breathalyzer thing yet...

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Which probably means

So, as I said, you are criticizing the police based on your speculation on the few sentences in this article. "Probably". Nice. I think the police "actually" knew what was going on better than anyone reading this article!

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This was just bad luck for the police because most Japanese would not have been dumb enough to test their luck like that.

That's becasue a smart police officer would have arrested them both.

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runwithscissors

You have not one clue how it could measure alcohol in the blood by stomach vapors coming out of the mouth.

Actually stomach vapors don't get measured. It's the alcohol getting purged from the lungs that gets measured. I agree, they aren't very accurate. In many countries a reading over a certain amount means that a blood test can be taken upon consent. If the consent isn't given, then the reading is used.

Having said that, Japan has a zero tolerance policy, so a high reading is almost guaranteed to be DUI.

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These idiot Miyazaki police should be horse whipped in public for letting these drunken bastards get away the first time around!

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You have not one clue how it could measure alcohol in the blood by stomach vapors coming out of the mouth

Actually stomach vapors don't get measured. It's the alcohol getting purged from the lungs that gets measured.

Hahahaha, I just noticed that. Did he think you breathed with your stomach not your lungs?

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2020hindsight said: Actually stomach vapors don't get measured.

Oh yes they do! So do vapors from the mouth and throat. The test "assumes" it is purely air from the lungs, but it is not. Hats off to you for finding my error, but you made your own mistake in the process! Stomach vapors are a common cause of a higher than actual reading, because you cannot easily separate all the sources of vapors even though the test "assumes" you did.

I am telling you, those things are WAAAAAAY off. Burping prior to the test affects it. People with acid reflux get high readings, as do people with dentures and mouth diseases. Even outside temperature affects the reading. Breath spray can give you readings that you should be dead. Its criminal that people lose their jobs and licenses on the basis of this highly faulty test. Its a shame that people want instant arrests over it.

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The fact is... drumroll ... both men committed a crime

But you still have to arrest them on the correct charge. You may dream of being a rogue policman arresting anyone and everyone for a crime you will define later, but that is not how real policework works. There is a lot of paperwork and its darn inconvenient, but history shows any other way gets bad results for the whole of society.

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"runwithscissors:"We read about DUI all the time, maybe at least two dozen articles a year. Meanwhile most of the 724,811 accidents last year were sober, yet, nary a peep about them"

Here is something for you to digest even more, prior to lowering the limits in 2002 from 0.05% to the present 0.03% (0.15 from 0.25 (2.5 grams of alcohol per litre). (in one year after the new levels the death tool dropped by 1000)

Statistics showed that prior to the change the death related to alcohol were above 16% (that is aprox 1,200 deaths) by 2005 that was down to less than 10% ( for around 700 deaths).

More significantly the total number of traffic deaths dropped from over 8,700 to under 5,000 by 2009 and a large portion of that drop came after the latest revision to the drinking and driving laws in late 2007.

So we are seeing less deaths and less accidents since people are to "scared" (as you put it) to drink and drive.

I for one see that as a good thing.

@runwithscissors: you also wrote this;"Do you imagine an unfair society is all good to go so long is the goal is to prevent less than 51 deaths in the whole nation? Why not just put everyone under house arrest then?"

Where did you pick that "51 deaths"? from your head?

As it stand the numbers for alcohol related death in traffic accidents still stand a around 9% so seeing the total deaths are 4,863 that would make it more like 437 deaths though not all the data for 2009 is available just yet but seeing the previous years were around 9% I highly doubt that it suddenly dropped to 1%."

Moderator: Readers, please focus your comments on the story. Those that do not will, of course, be removed.

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Hmmm... So there's two guys at a car that's off the road and both have obviously been drinking. I would ask for the car key from the two. If one of them produces the key, I've got a pretty good idea who the driver was, but I'll ask "Were you the one driving?" to try and pin it down. As to whether BOTH were committing crimes, what exactly is the law about being intoxicated but not guilty of a DUI?

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I must agree with most posters here that the police should of arrested the two the first time if in fact they were "extremely inebriated" and that the bystandar eyewitnessed the entire event (including determination of who the driver was).

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I would ask for the car key from the two. If one of them produces the key, I've got a pretty good idea who the driver was, but I'll ask "Were you the one driving?" to try and pin it down.

Nice point Fadamor, but that would mean using your brain. It seems like most J-cops don't like to do something that isn't written in their manual.

I have no idea how they were "unable to establish which of the men was driving the car at the time of the accident". Did the 2 guys point at each other and say "It was him"?

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runwithscissors

Stomach vapors are a common cause of a higher than actual reading, because you cannot easily separate all the sources of vapors even though the test "assumes" you did.

Well if you are drunk then you may burp into the device and you get what's coming to you.

I agree that they are not accurate, but really, I am sure that if you get a high reading you are DUI in Japan. Vapors from the stomach indicate that you will get more inebriated when that alcohol enters the blood. Maybe the alcohol content in your blood is different, but hey, it's still there.

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A point I think everyone is missing is that through not going gung-ho over the first accident, we have that much more rope to hang them with. You guys just grossly over-estimate the danger of being lenient.

Limbo, traffic deaths were double what they are now in 1990. The trend of the falling death rate has been constant and steady and is just something the cops are trying to hitch their DUI campaign wagon to. It looks like what has saved lives, maybe even these guys lives, is primarily seatbelts and airbags. The cops are just looking for the something they have done for us lately. Its bogus.

Anyway, these guys were treated fairly and given a chance, which they messed up. I support fairness and giving people chances. What you have fallen into is an "ends justifies the means" type argument. You and others think its all good so long as people are scared, no matter what unfair test is applied, and you want them crushed instantly. I would rather risk freedom and fairness. Maybe its just me?

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runwithscissors -

I support fairness and giving people chances

In other words; "Runwithscissors would like to decide how much booze is enough, rather than a consistent law" Sorry, Chief. Like many have said before; If you drink, don't drive. If you drive, don't drink. And the difference between drinking and driving in Japan from 10 years ago is noticeable. Just like when seat belts became mandatory.

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"Runwithscissors would like to decide how much booze is enough, rather than a consistent law"

The trouble with you is that you don't realize the two are as compatible as everything else. You think you have a real conflict there but you don't. No law can be applied with perfect consistence, and deciding when a person is fit to drive (such as the next day, when many people get busted now) is entirely possible. You support curing problems by killing freedom, while apparently not realizing that no problem is 100 percent solvable anyhow.

Many people getting busted don't even know they are over the limits. In fact, in reality, many aren't. But they do not have the means to know what bogus numbers the highly inaccurate breath test will turn up. The people labor on in imposed ignorance and fear, never knowing when they will be randomly squashed. And you cheer.

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more sour grapes from someone who admittedly has had a DUI. Want to know how to correctly blow a 0.0? DONT DRINK!

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It is impossible to blow 0.0

And again with your demand of "Don't drink" you prove you are simply anti-freedom. That is prohibition revived via a sneaky back door tactic.

And I never got a DUI. I fought my way out of it, because the police knew my arguments were correct.

Moderator: Readers, that ends discussion on this particular point. Please focus your comments on what is in the story.

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runwithscissors

And again with your demand of "Don't drink" you prove you are simply anti-freedom. That is prohibition revived via a sneaky back door tactic.

I have no problem with people drinking. And I have no problem with people driving. I do have a problem with people driving when they are drunk. It's not anti-freedom. It's because drunk drivers kill innocent people.

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I have no problem with people drinking. And I have no problem with people driving. I do have a problem with people driving when they are drunk. It's not anti-freedom. It's because drunk drivers kill innocent people.

Couldn't agree more. One of my friends and his daughter almost killed when walking pedestrian crossing by drunken driver. Japan road is generally safe. However, careless drivers (drunken or not) are exist in quite a portion. Hence, precaution for other road users are needed. (especially) the policeman to enforce the rule...

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Unless the law is changed to say that people can heretofore drink and drive (retroactively for these boys) then they committed a crime, and the police were wrong to let them go the first time simply because they couldn't be bothered to look a little harder into who has driving and who was just the drunk passenger.

Back to the ineptitude of the police with the two drunks breaking the law, though, it's utterly ridiculous, as has been said time and time again, that the two were simply let go to have an accident a few hours later.

Smorkian: "Do all those criticizing the j-cops really think they are so bumbling and ineffective that they would intentionally let a drunk driver back on the road if they could legally arrest them?"

Yes, and clearly that's what happened here. If they couldn't determine who was driving, and yet both were drunk, why let them go at all? Both should have been taken in, if not only to sleep it off. But nope... J-police at their best, once again.

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Do NOT drink and drive. You endanger other people, you can and DO kill other people. Do not be so selfish as to harm or kill others by what YOU want to do. Get a taxi. Have a designated driver. GROW UP. Take responsibility.

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