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Penalty increased for pilots who fly after drinking alcohol

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Under the legislation, which will take effect in stages within one year of its official announcement, the penalty for drink-flying has been raised from a maximum one-year jail term and 300,000 yen fine to a sentence of up to three years and a 500,000 yen fine.

Legislators should have jacked it up to, at the minimum, the same as drunk driving in a vehicle, fine wise!

1,000,000 yen, plus 3 years! And not a minimum, but MANDATORY!

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Make it mandatory for all airlines to test pilots via an independent tester before flying. All of them All the time. Test them for alcohol and drugs. Suspend licenses of those who fail and order them into rehab. On second offense, fire them.

I won't get into the car with a person who has been drinking. I need assurances that the airline has ensured my safety as I cannot do that for myself.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Agree with philly1 and Yubaru. Needs to be mandatory, and it needs to be a third party independent tester, not internal policing. How many souls are you responsible for when you strap into that cockpit? And their loved ones...

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

As long as there is no unified law on alcohol regulation in aviation and maritime law, and punishment is left to the discretion of corporations, such incidents will continue.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Increasing penalties will not solve the problem. They need to be looking into why so many pilots have alcohol problems.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

They need to be looking into why so many pilots have alcohol problems.

Irregular schedules is probably the main culprit. A look into any long distance transport industry, regardless of the vehicle would reveal a frightening level of alcohol abuse.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Under the legislation, which will take effect in stages within one year of its official announcemen

Why in stages and up to a year?

Looks like consideration is being given to the airlines.

Case of corporate japan placed before the populace.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

BeerDeliveryGuy - They need to be looking into why so many pilots have alcohol problems. - Irregular schedules is probably the main culprit. A look into any long distance transport industry, regardless of the vehicle would reveal a frightening level of alcohol abuse.

Many professions have irregular schedules. That is not an excuse for alcohol abuse.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

There only needs to be the penalty of losing their license and a prison term.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Increasing penalties will not solve the problem.

actually it does, countries like Australia NZ UK which have strict DUI laws have seen a dramatic drop in rd accidents and deaths as a result. Pilots are intelligent individuals, if they dont seek help for their drinking problems then they're risking their careers and freedom, zero tolerance and therapy is the only way to fix this problem.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

It doesn't seem to have any deterrence thus far - at least not with the Japanese staff.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

We will be so much safer when we remove the potential drunks completely. AI will never have a drink, never. In the meantime, a zero tolerance policy should be in effect but I just don't see this happening. The deregulation of the airline industry has made oversite difficult, if not impossible.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Endangering the lives of hundreds of passengers and the max penalty is only 3 years?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Well done. But... will they actually enforce it?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Some are drunks in hiding, but some are just plain dumb. If you know the rule, just don't drink while on the trip.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

I would hope that the airlines are also encouraging there staff to understand how there bodies react to drinking. ( Not holding my breath on that thought ) It is not expensive for staff to buy a Breathalyzer so you can understand your own bodies recover rate. Then on time off have a few drinks and monitor how long it thats the alcohol takes to work out of there system. Im sure there will be a few surprises when people the results.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Irregular schedules is probably the main culprit. 

It is hard to find more interesting things to do when your schedule is irregular. Drinking to relax is easy and can be done almost anywhere. Pilots and stewardesses have very few options to pass the time, so sex and alcohol are the most popular!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Pilots cost a lot and take time to train.

If you fire them or put them into prison, you won't fly anymore soon.

And we are not talking about drunk people forr 99.999% of them.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

wtfjapan - Increasing penalties will not solve the problem. - actually it does, countries like Australia NZ UK which have strict DUI laws have seen a dramatic drop in rd accidents and deaths as a result. 

Actually, no it doesn't. The decrease in deaths and accidents in those countries are the result of strict policing. The fact that so many people are still being arrested for drink driving offenses shows the penalties do not deter them. However, it does show that strict policing is working due to so many being caught. This is exactly how Japan keeps these statistics so low. They use a passive policing policy and many people get away with it, thus keeping the statistics low.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

to a sentence of up to three years and a 500,000 yen fine.

Didn't a Japanese pilot get 9yrs in a British Jail for turning up to a flight drunk.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

The penalty for DUI is up to 3 years and ¥500,000. For DWI it’s 5 years and ¥1,000,000. Stiffer penalties should be imposed for FUI/FWI.

How many passengers are in a vehicle? How many are on a plane?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

How many passengers are in a vehicle? How many are on a plane?

I am not excusing drunken flying whatsoever, but, I'd rather fly with a drunk pilot than a drunk driver - in the sky, you only have to worry about crashing into the planet - and planes mostly fly themselves. In a car, there are things to crash into everywhere.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Confused by all the negatives I recieved on my AI post. I assumed everyone knew that most of your flight is being done by computers already. They don't get intoxicated, sleepy or have bad days. Completely reliable.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I'm a believer of two-pronged approach in this case 1) Fine/punishment & 2) Education/awareness campaign

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Many professions have irregular schedules.

And many professions have alcoholics.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"They need to be looking into why so many pilots have alcohol problems."

Let's include so many of the general population while we do the above.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Andrew, sentenced to 10 months in the UK.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is one case where I definitely agree with whatever is the highest penalty. 24 hours between the bottle and the throttle, period, no excemption whatsoever.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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