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U.S. airman arrested for alleged drunk driving on Okinawa

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The US military has lost control over their fighting soldiers. It's time to study what is bothering these "lost souls" who continue to drink and drive even though they are told by their superiors of the consequences and of prevalent political atmosphere on Okinawa.

But when you have suicides in the US military also rising on record pace this study proposal will probably fall on deaf ears. American military commanders and the Japanese bureaucrats think alike on these situations....."Hope no major incident happens on my watch or until I rotate out of here".

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Again? I first thought, this news appeared again for being popular

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Why not just ban driver licenses for all military and civilian Americans, and run extensive shuttle buses all over the island? That could work.

9 ( +15 / -6 )

Not the swiftest people, these guys who keep getting busted for drunk driving.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Maybe its time for the US military to start treating the Okinawans with the same level of respect that we demand from them. As a veteran of the Submarine force, I hate to say it however I think the current situation of the us military in okinawa is less then honorable.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

Continue to hold personel who break the law accountable for their actions, they need to appreciate that they are under scrutiny for everything they do, all their actions are under surveillance, gotta be on your best behavior, always.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

In May, a military contractor and former Marine, Kenneth Shinzato, was charged with the murder and rape of a 20-year-old woman whose body was abandoned in the forest.

IS this going to be repeated here for every incident that occurs from now on, like replacing the 95' rape reference that preceded it? How about writing a new paragraph to every incident article related to the military in Okinawa and add it to the bottom, even when it's about a truck scratching some paint off a guardrail.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Good gods what a bunch of weak willed individuals. It is really honestly that hard to not drink and drive.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Good gods what a bunch of weak willed individuals. It is really honestly that hard to not drink and drive.

I guess it's to be expected that people who can not get perfection from within their own communities demand it from their guests.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Maybe the offenders that willingly break the law want that Big Chicken Dinner just to get out of their hitch. The military isn't an option anymore even for that wonderful G.I. bill. Just not worth it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

IS this going to be repeated here for every incident that occurs from now on

No kidding. I'm of the same mind that likening every DUI, shoplifting incident, and fender bender that occurs over the next several of months -- or likely years -- with with rape and murder in order to press a political point is more than a bit tacky . . . bordering on offensive to the actual vicitms of rape or murder.

Yes, US troops incapable of refraining from drunk driving should be held fully accountable. But it comes nowhere near being a murderer. It's not just a little bit irritating to see so-called activists try to play it off as if it was.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

No kidding. I'm of the same mind that likening every DUI, shoplifting incident, and fender bender that occurs over the next several of months -- or likely years -- with with rape and murder in order to press a political point is more than a bit tacky . . . bordering on offensive to the actual vicitms of rape or murder.

I can already hear the reverse argument....If there is even one person reading JT today that is new and has never heard anything about the animals in the US military or civilians in Okinawa then we haven't been doing our job informing and stirring up crap as usual.

JT salivates every time there is an incident in Okinawa, it's their bread and butter. If there were no military in Okinawa JT would lose readership.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

"Alleged drunken driving..." Perhaps the day in court should come before the heavy-duty comments. Just sayin'...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

While not in any way condoning DUI in any circumstance. (Note that native Okinawans are among the worst offenders for this in Japan) I fail to see any connection with serving forces members being guilty of the DUI and a civilian employee with a Japanese wife and child who committed rape and murder. Seems like comparing apples and... No not oranges! Apples and duck billed platypuses perhaps?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The US military has lost control over their fighting soldiers

Rather, a few of them have lost control of themselves

3 ( +3 / -0 )

LFRAgain...

If I had omitted the Minorities and just left it at the 20 - 27 year olds, somebody would have accused me of picking on this age group. If I would have omitted the Minorities and left it at Junior Enlisted's, another set of readers would have been offended by spotlighting Junior Enlisted's. So get off of your highhorse and twisting what I included into some racist rant...but then again LFRAgain ... you are the epitome of perfection, correct Sir? Sheesh .. give me a frickin' break..

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Broke curfew and got and dui Way to go airman!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

RE: The ban wouldn't work its already been tried and failed."

My fault for not elaborating, prohibit the selling and buying of alcohol to all US SOFA members, and for US GOV civilians, US military contract employees including MLC's (local Japanese nationals) if you want a job on the base then you must abide by the rules and have it including in writing in their contracts, job acceptance etc. If any alcohol is found within the base on or off by a SOFA member a stiff sentence and punishment will be set forth.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It costs both the US Taxpayers and Japanese Taxpayers a lot of money to station the US Military here and they have the job of defending Japan so it is not unreasonable to expect them not to do reckless things that endanger peoples lives like driving under the influence of alcohol and also not committing crimes against the local population. Members of the US Military are supposedly highly trained and disciplined people who call themselves the best military in the world and also refer to themselves as America`s finest so how can you compare them to an average Japanese citizen and say that they should not be held to higher standards.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Yubaru said:

I guess it's to be expected that people who can not get perfection from within their own communities demand it from their guests.

Or perhaps they just expect adults who are sworn to serve and protect to act responsibly as 'guests' in their country instead endangering their well being.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

They are their own worst enemy -and some of these people cannot be helped. You have the Okinawa Police looking for their next US Military DUI victim and thankfully there are many young and stupid people willing to oblige. Pure foolishness and then you have the people here condoning such acts.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I was just down there last week, and I could feel, that the US bases are on the Japanese Radar, they are being watched by practically all, and the keystones are watching and profiling like crazy. I tried to get a taxi and was passed up 6 times! Its not a cool place for night life anymore, and I saw many frowns on many faces. I was glad to get the heck out of there!

refs:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0iC6DgpdiI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbMzuFKw07I

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is getting quite ridiculous. They're making a mockery of it now at the expense of public safety. Even locals have more decency than to do that (this is for those who bring up crimes done by locals, which in a sense, is similar to those who say "other countries were bad during WW2 too, not just Japan"). Even if you take away their driver's licenses like someone here suggested, they'll just end up driving drunk without a license. At worst, they'll get two slaps on the wrists instead of one.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

are they showing defiance or some craps? they don't know their daddy uncle sam can't protect them anymore or are they just stupid? either way, have fun in the cell, cuz according to this site j cops are some really nasty people.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Or perhaps they just expect adults who are sworn to serve and protect to act responsibly as 'guests' in their country instead endangering their well being.

In other words asking for perfect little angels. People are bleeding daft if they think that the military members in Japan are going to NOT make mistakes. Expecting it is unrealistic and just plain choosing to keep your head in the sand.

Reality check, they are human too. Seems to me that plenty of folks here need to look in the mirror.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

He thinking "Yah! Now I don't have to deploy since I got arrested"!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Ones that drive drunk in Japan will also drive drunk in the states.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

He ruined his career and will most likely be other than honorable discharge and future jobs will be minimal. Also he will pay a deep price in the states and this is reported to the state they have a DL in and will need to pay through the nose for auto insurance and Drunk driving on his record for the next 6 years. He will pay an ultimate price. He will get the double whammy.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Blattamexiguus

Note that native Okinawans are among the worst offenders for this in Japan

Not just among, Okinawa IS the worst of the 47 prefectures by quite a margin when it comes to the rate of DUIs and DUI-related accidents/driving population. It's an observed/accept fact that out of all of the Japanese prefectures the people of Okinawa are culturally the loosest (punctuality, traditional rules, etc.) and have the highest tendency to ignore regulations and laws (obviously including those against driving drunk), which is pretty darned ironic in light of the scrutiny SOFA personnel are getting for failing to adhere to some of the same rules that local Okinawans routinely ignore at a significantly higher rate.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

So what people who use the argument that Japanese get more DUI`s and commit more crimes are saying is that a highly trained, disciplined, professional US Military person who is in Japan to protect the Japanese people is actually no different than an ordinary Japanese person and their behavior should be judged the same.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

“It’s extremely regrettable,” Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Hagiuda told a news conference.

Quite right: Japanese would never do such a thing, would they?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

. . .just a matter of time before another and another incident occurs. DUI, rape, assault, theft etc. . . .

As a veteran of the Submarine force, I hate to say it however I think the current situation of the us military in okinawa is less then honorable.

Agree big time. Servicemen/ women are walking around with two black eyes. Hope all hands (Yokota, Zama, Yokosuka and Atsugi) can keep it together. We should be better than this.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yubaru, your first comment was dead-on! Wish I could give you a hundred thumbs up. A late happy Independence Day to you Americans and to our servicepeople around the world. Don't buy into the hype. God bless the USA!!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Love how some are defending drunk driving as "only human". Like to see how some would feel when a drunk service man/ woman creams your daughter against a road sign because they are "only human". I can look in the mirror and say I have never once in my life been behind the wheel when inebriated on alcohol. Guess that makes me better? Unlikely.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Ones that drive drunk in Japan will also drive drunk in the states.

Nope. Japan has a ridiculous zero tolerance policy now. One beer and you can't drive in Japan. Generally you can in America.

Police said a breath test showed his blood-alcohol level exceeding the legal limit.

You could swill a shot of whisky in your mouth, spit it out, rinse with water and blow exceeding the legal limit in Japan. And no, the options of a urine or blood test are not options here. DUI rules and procedures are some of the most draconian and just plain dumb things about Japan. Drive after one beer and you may as well drive after six. Not a good message. Just plain stupid in fact....unless you don't give a damn about people's lives but just want to collect a lot of yen via a new type of highway robbery.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The rule here is 'Don't drink and drive'. It's pretty clear-cut. It's not open to misinterpretation.

In this case, the fool had drunk enough to be driving 'erratically'. Probably a good bit more than one beer.

You may consider the DUI rules here to be 'draconian' and 'just plain dumb' - but not as dumb as someone who knows the rules (I trust every new arrival at a US base in Okinawa is given a good introduction into How Japan is Not Like Idaho?) and still goes out, has a skinful and gets behind the wheel.

unless you don't give a damn about people's lives

If you give a damn about people's lives you don't DUI. Doing so is just plain stupid in fact.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

If you give a damn about people's lives you don't DUI. Doing so is just plain stupid in fact.

Agree. I'm sure all of us here (who drive) have probably buzz-drived a few times here or back in their home country and have gotten away with it.

Yeah, it's stupid. The US servicemen/women represent the US gov. They wear a uniform. They've taken an aoth. So they should be held to higher standards.

The Okinawans are getting screwed over. What if the intoxicated, erratic driver killed an Japanese pedestrian?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Nope. Japan has a ridiculous zero tolerance policy now. One beer and you can't drive in Japan. Generally you can in America.

Knock, knock, knock.....you ain't in Kansas anymore. Not to mention that no American should be chiming in about drunk driving and what is ok or not and to add insult to injury the following?

You could swill a shot of whisky in your mouth, spit it out, rinse with water and blow exceeding the legal limit in Japan. And no, the options of a urine or blood test are not options here. DUI rules and procedures are some of the most draconian and just plain dumb things about Japan. Drive after one beer and you may as well drive after six. Not a good message. Just plain stupid in fact....unless you don't give a damn about people's lives but just want to collect a lot of yen via a new type of highway robbery.

So? Dont like it, don't do it!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

For the guy who posted "DUI coming in 5..4..3..." in a previous story last week, SPOT ON.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Also not reported this morning on 7/05/16 two marines drove from NAHA after spending the night drinking heavily. They arrived at the gate so drunk they fell out of the car and 1 had lost his ID card. They could not walk or talk as they were still loaded. The Base Police arrested them. Luckily no one was killed or hurt by two young marines driving drunk. DUI's should not be protected by SOFA along with rape and Murder and Theft. These crimes should be as when in Rome do as the Romans do. The continuing fact that their total ignorance of the law and not obeying the laws of Japan and also the Military show disregard of any senses and obligation and total disrespect for anyone. Stupid kids probably forced to join the Marines or jail time in the states. This is another problem with marines, not educated and nothing but troublemakers with a choice of prison or Marines. The Military has to stop this practice and demand a High School Diploma no GED's and a Grade point average 3.0 and any less require special permission. The quality of the troops in the Marines is very poor and most of them have no regard for the laws.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

cleo, I can't even drink anymore because even the next morning I would likely fail a breath test. I don't have the option of trains where I live, and taxis and daiko cost a small fortune. And even if I use them, I STILL can't drive the next day. Your idealism has blinded you to simple reality. Total bans are basically the realm of the authoritarian idiot.

No one can accuse me of being a friend to soldiers, particularly American soldiers. But even I admit they do have a bit of humanity in there, and that means they may like to drink on occasion to relieve some stress. But given many people's situations, the draconian rule of zero tolerance takes that totally off the menu, even for responsible folk who do not drink to intoxication or to the point of being dangerous drivers. You might like them to pick up the habit of doing charity work or gardening to blow off steam, but sorry, that is not everyone's cup of tea, or beer as it might be.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I can't even drink anymore because even the next morning I would likely fail a breath test.

Perhaps you have "Auto-Brewery" syndrome or perhaps you are over-drinking?

for responsible folk who do not drink to intoxication

The problem is that that amount is different for each person and a person does not always know when they have had too much to drive.

Total bans are basically the realm of the authoritarian idiot.

Alcohol is not totally banned. Driving impaired is. It is a reasonable thing. Driving is not a right, it is a priviledge. Too many people die from drivers drinking and driving.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Total bans are basically the realm of the authoritarian idiot.

Drugs are totally banned in the military and those caught get discharged. Authoritarian, that's the military, dont like get out. By the nature of the job military's do not run democratically and it's an idiotic way to think otherwise.

But given many people's situations, the draconian rule of zero tolerance takes that totally off the menu

No, not at all, all one has to do is choose to drink in a different location. That simple.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

No, not at all, all one has to do is choose to drink in a different location. That simple.

You paying? How dumb is it to tell someone to move just so they can have a beer in town with friends and be able to get home without breaking the bank? You seriously have no idea my situation (which is normal) and how much it would cost me to move and how much it would lower my standard of living.

Perhaps you have "Auto-Brewery" syndrome or perhaps you are over-drinking?

Or perhaps the new rules are unfair and the breathalyzer test horribly inaccurate?

The problem is that that amount is different for each person and a person does not always know when they have had too much to drive.

The limits were working JUST FINE. DUI accidents were low even with the police summarily blaming alcohol and closing investigations into the real causes of accidents. The limits were removed because the government is strapped for cash. Sure, they used that accident on the bridge where the kids died and used it to the hilt, but that was not the real reason. You don't change the rules for millions because one man was an idiot.

You folks against me are simply caught up in the DUI hysteria and can't see reality. Yes, there are some people who are total idiots and can't have one beer and drive safely. But the rest of us should not be held to their standards. There are all sorts of dangers in the world, and harping on this one is not really helping anyone but the government to make more money and break people for things they safely did before.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

the new rules are unfair

What new rules? The rule in Japan has been 飲むなら乗るな、乗るなら飲むな ever since I first arrived on these shores, and I've been here probably longer than most posters have been alive.

Yes, there are some people who are total idiots and can't have one beer and drive safely

And there are some people who are total idiots and think they can drink six beers and it won't affect the way they drive. And that anti-DUI laws are only there to make money for the government.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

cleo, there used to be a BAC limit that allowed people to drive the next morning after drinking generally, and drink a little and still drive. The limit has been lowered to a BAC that basically coincides with a natural BAC. When I was working as an ALT, I saw a list of about 7 teachers who lost their jobs over DUI, I believe 5 would have been fine under the old rules. I think 3 of them were caught the following morning, and they were not even involved in accidents. One simply left their bag behind and went to a police station to see if they had it.

And there are some people who are total idiots and think they can drink six beers and it won't affect the way they drive.

I don't deny it. I just wonder if you think laws mean much to such people.

And that anti-DUI laws are only there to make money for the government.

I was not speaking of all DUI laws. Only the point at which they became draconian and authoritarian, and unfair, overzealous poppycock that WAS done for the sake of fattening state coffers.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

cleo, there used to be a BAC limit that allowed people to drive the next morning after drinking generally, and drink a little and still drive. The limit has been lowered to a BAC that basically coincides with a natural BAC. When I was working as an ALT, I saw a list of about 7 teachers who lost their jobs over DUI, I believe 5 would have been fine under the old rules. I think 3 of them were caught the following morning, and they were not even involved in accidents. One simply left their bag behind and went to a police station to see if they had it.

There was, but ever wonder why it was changed? Because people were driving drunk, causing accidents, killing people, and all sorts of other problems.

So they would have been safe, but they weren't, where is the logic in what you are saying. The laws are not authoritarian, nor draconian, they are meant to stop people from drinking and driving, it's that simple.

No argument you can make about any individual person will matter, laws are for everyone, you can not write a law when it comes to tolerance or intolerance of alcohol, the limit is what it is, and it's very simple to follow.

Like Cleo wrote, if you are going to drink don't drive, if you plan to drive don't drink. Simple.

Anything else is just making excuses.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This argument that Japan's DUI laws are authoritarian or draconian is absurd. They are designed as a conditioned and entirely logical response to people still drinking, driving and then hurting people.

I lost a brother when I was 5 to a drunk driver. The asshat swore in court that he didn't think he had that much to drink -- even though his BAC was in the range of 0.2.

In any given group of drinkers, there are always going to be those who brag about being having a higher threshold to the effects of alcohol because of weight, DNA, acclimation due to wild college years, insert-cockamamie-rationalization-here. It's from these people that you'll find the majority that end up getting behind the wheel and hurting or killing someone.

Give drinkers a BAC limit of 0.05 and there are bound to be those who will push it to the 0.08 point, then drive. Make the limit 0.08, as it is in many US states, and there will be a significant number of drinkers who will push it to 0.1. Make it 0.1, and you find drivers weaving along the roads with a 0.15 level in their bloodstream.

Alcohol by its very nature impedes sound judgement, and since alcohol can and usually does magnify the hubris that would cause a person to drink and subsequently think, "Nope, I won't be the one to smash this 2-ton flying projectile of plastic, glass, and steel into someone else," laws -- wait, let's call them "clubhouse rules," if that makes some of you feel less stung by the legal implications -- need to be put in place to protect the greater whole of society -- and not, as some would tell it, to fatten state coffers.

Remember these three points:

One, it's not all about you.

Two, DUI is not a civil right.

Three, Japan is a zero-tolerance society. Deal with it. Can't get your drink on without having to travel far? Take a train. Take a cab. Take some of your friend's time by calling for a ride. Heck, take an invigorating walk. Might do you some good. But don't ever drive after drinking. And please stop whining about the grown ups expecting you to comply.

If, upon deeper consideration of the law and the wholly reasonable reasonable points above, you still find they are too much of an ask, please also consider the very real possibility you're wrestling with an unaddressed alcohol dependency issue.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Police officer gets suspension due to drunken driving: Okinawa Prefectural Police announced July 1 that a 52 years old police officer violated the traffic law (drunken driving) July 1 and was suspended from work for 6 months. About 5 times higher than the limit of alcohol was detected from his breath. He hit a parked vehicle when he moved his car. The officer requested his resignation on that day. (Ryukyu Shimpo, pg. 27, July 2, 2016: ditto Okinawa Times, pg. 27)

WOW!!! It appears the Okinawans have the same problem, apparently we have different reactions. Drunk driving is drunk driving no matter what nationality. Silly me. I would hope to expect the same reaction though.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And please stop whining about the grown ups expecting you to comply.

Consider what he wrote and the examples of his friends who got nailed. Entitlement is the silver spoon in their mouths.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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