Tomigusuku Police wants sleeping drunks off streets

Tomigusuku Police issued Thursday a notice warning people found sleeping on city’s streets that anyone who is found for the third time passed out drunk will be arrested for traffic infringement.

Police say they are taking the action to root out the habit that often leads to traffic accidents and robberies.

Tomigusuku Police said they issued the warning after they had 68 such cases as of Nov. 29th. They pointed out that sleeping on the street is not only dangerous but also gives police much trouble when they try to contact the drunks’ family to send them home.

The reason for the arrest on the third time is to check whether the culprit is repeating the act “intentionally.” This is the first time in Okinawa to try arresting such offenders.

According to the Japan’s Road Traffic Law Article 76, “disturbing the traffic after drinking alcohol” and “lying on a street disturbing traffic” is prohibited.

This year, there have been 7,159 reported cases of drunk people sleeping on the street in Okinawa as of the end of October that is 1,179 more than last year at the same time. That is also the most ever since 2008 when police started keeping such statistics.