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Should bar owners who serve alcohol to customers, knowing they are driving, be liable for prosecution if the customer is involved in a traffic accident? Also, should passengers in cars driven by drunk

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Bar owners should not be liable. It is the driver's responsibility. That would be like holding Mc Donald's responsible for heart attacks. They can take a cab (some taxi services will drive your car home for you), or sleep in their cars as I have seen many do. But, if you're dumb enough to get in a car with a drunk driver, you have an assumption of risk. Having said all that, this is Japan, where victims of some accidents have been ordered to pay the ones who've caused them.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Yeah, Japan's legal system is very wacky to many of us foreigners...but yeah...

No- making bar owners responsible sets a really bad precedent and gives justification to throw out common sense entirely.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Scenario A

"Barman, give me another one. I've got a long drive ahead of me."

"Better make it a pint then, tee hee hee."

Scenario B

"Barman, give me another one. I've got a long drive ahead of me."

"Sorry sir. If you're driving, I cannot serve you."

Which one is a being a responsible human being?

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Have been hearing for years that it is the law and owners and passengers could face heavy fines. Am I wrong

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I'm not sure the point of this question - the drunk driving law in Japan was significantly strengthened in 2007 after an accident in Fukuoka where a drunk driver pushed a SUV off a bridge killing several children. The current law is;

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) — Blood alcohol content of .08 or greater: Confinement not exceeding five years or a fine not exceeding about $8,800, depending on the current yen rate. (Under the old law, maximum jail time was three years or a fine of about $4,400)

Driving under the influence (DUI) — BAC of .03 to .07999: Confinement not exceeding three years or fine not exceeding about $4,400. (Under the old law, maximum jail time was one year or a fine of not more than about $2,650)

Providing an intoxicated person with a vehicle — The same penalties for DWI and DUI apply.

Providing a person with alcohol who subsequently gets a DUI or DWI: DWI — Maximum jail time of 3 years or a fine of about $4,400 or less. DUI — Maximum jail time of two years or a fine not exceeding about $2,650.

Riding as a passenger in a vehicle operated by a person intoxicated: DWI — Maximum jail time of 3 years or a fine of about $4,400 or less. DUI — Maximum jail time of two years or a fine not exceeding about $2,650.

Rejected BAC breath test — Maximum jail time of three months or a fine not exceeding about $4,400.

Hit and run — Maximum jail time 10 years or fine of about $8,800 or less.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It is amazing that a passenger that is a kid can be sent to jail because he did not know mama was hitting the sauce in the toilet all day long to hide it from her kids and hubby, as none of them lifted a finger to help her clean them, so she knew it was a great hiding spot.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Riding as a passenger in a vehicle operated by a person intoxicated

I may be wrong, but I thought it was more along the lines of "riding as a passenger in a vehicle operated by a person known to have been drinking". So if you've been drinking together before getting in the car, you have no excuse. (This was the target of the law change.) But if someone offers to pick you up and give you a ride, you may be OK.

If my wife's family is anything to go by, the law changed behavior considerably. Previously, either through pressure or a feeling of obligation, someone would often drive others home after drinking. Now, everything gets thought through more carefully. (taxis, designated drivers, sleep over, etc.)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If the bar owner knew the person was going to drive, then alcohol service should stop.

I'm no fan of the nanny state by any means and in the end the drunk driver is 100% culpable for their own actions.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@Bertie: In my experience the bartender will say "hey bud I think you've had enough...why don't I call a taxi?"

That said, the barman is in the business of making money and selling alcohol...so I can't blame them for wanting to do their business. If they know the patron is driving then sure, they should stop serving...but in this country where they almost never check IDs I can't expect they're asking who is and isn't driving.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

but in this country where they almost never check IDs I can't expect they're asking who is and isn't driving

What's this American obsession with checking IDs even when people have obviously been old enough to drink for a couple of decades?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@sillygirl

Yes, I thought that was the case already when the laws were changed a few years ago.

@lincolnman

Why are you quoting the fines in (I assume US) dollars?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Sense: I'm not sure how often you drank in the states..but there's no obsession. They only card if A) they want to flatter or B) person looks too young...

I had hoped common sense would make it safe to assume I'm talking about underage college kids drinking and not obvious adults.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In both instances, NO. All responsibility lies with the drinker.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

They only card if A) they want to flatter or B) person looks too young...

My experience was neither of the above, and seemed simply to show who was (at minimum wage) in control.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

When people are not held personally accountable for their actions, they will be less likely to act responsibly. Increased defendants in lawsuits generally means increased awards for damages, and increased fees for lawyers.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Yes, yes, YES, let's add to the already overcrowded court dockets by blaming the bar owners for being business-people. Let's further add to the dockets by adding passengers in cars driven by the intoxicated. While we're at it, why not blame car makers whose cars are driven by drunken drivers? And why not blame, also, the alcohol manufacturers? And why not blame, too, the glass-making and aluminum-smelting companies that help make the bottles and cans of the alcohol consumed by the drunken drivers? And why not blame the tire companies that put the tires on the cars driven b drunken drivers? And why not add to the list of blamees the headlight makers of and for the car companies of the cars driven by drunken drivers? After all, each and every one of these entities had some hand in helping that drunken driver hurt, maim, and/or kill someone when they got behind the wheel.

Here's a novel idea: WHY NOT SIMPLY BLAME THE DRUKEN DRIVER HIMSELF OR HERSELF???

Yes, yes, YES, THAT'S what we SHOULD do! After all, personal responsibility is still that: PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

A bar owner or passenger couldn't possibly be expected to be responsible for a drunk driver.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Yeah... let's do the spy at 360º and commit our family to proper authorities too! Defend and uphold the law, like Robocop!

Are we kidding? Let's arrest and make responsible every owner of a shop selling something that causes or allow people to hurt others, because of their stupidity, irresponsibility, or evil purposes. Half the world in jail or fined.

Damn it! This people is brainless...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

No! People are responsible for themselves. people need to make better choices... I worked in the industry for many years, and I didn't have time to check on how much people are drinking. NO WAY!!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

You alone are responsible for your actions.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yes, they should be, back home barkeeps will collect car-keys from. Customers.

Old saying "Friends don't let Friends drive/ride drunk", easy to get a cab or have a designated driver.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Perhaps a "responsible service of alcohol" program and or training, could be introduced as it has been in Australia for many years, I don't know exactly to what extent in Japan that would work, but they could give it a go and see how the results are i one year...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As i am one i would have to say no as i have a habit of using logic and common sense. If i know some1 is planning to drive I have and will continue to get them to take a cab or i take there keys or call the police have done all many a time. Stupid law in a nanny state, adults are responsible for there actions FULL STOP.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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