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Okinawa cops get real tough on drunk driving

Date Posted: 2010-10-21

A task force of more than 250 police officers roared into gear this week at 59 different locations on Okinawa, targeting drivers thought to be driving drunk or while impaired.

The crackdown centered on Highway 58 that stretches north-to-south along Okinawa, and around popular entertainment areas, leading to a dozen arrests for drunk drivers and another for a man driving without a driver’s license. Police say another 180 drivers were tagged for other offenses, including failure to fasten seat belts.

Cops investigating a minor traffic accident between a taxi and a motorcycle about 9:30 a.m. Saturday in Naha City led to the taxi driver’s arrest for drunk driving. “No, I’m not drunk, I didn’t drink,” the taxi driver protested, but police weren’t accepting the statement. Test results confirmed alcohol, and police arrested the driver, who had no customer in the cab at the time. The taxicab company owner said he was disappointed in his driver, telling police “I don’t know how to apologize to citizens,” but then pledged he’d “inspect drivers more often.”

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