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June is special traffic campaign month

Date Posted: 2002-06-09

Okinawa Prefecture Police has declared June the month of their special traffic safety campaign. The targets of the campaign are specifically drunk drivers. Penalties for drinking and driving were recently considerably stiffened with maximum fine increased five-fold to •500,000. At the same time the minimum content of alcohol in a driverís breath was lowered to 0.15 ml/l from 0.25 ml/l.

The police started their June 1 campaign by establishing road checkpoints at 40 locations within the prefecture. The checkpoints were in operation from midnight to 5 a.m. Police say that similar operations will be conducted throughout the month. At the checkpoints police apprehended 73 drivers for traffic violations. Five were deemed so drunk that police arrested them on spot. 37 drivers exceeded the new limit of 0.15 ml/l.

According to the Prefectural Police 31 people died in traffic accidents in Okinawa this year by May 31. Eight of the fatalities were directly attributed to drunk driving. The figure is 25.8 percent higher than the national average, earning the prefecture a spot in top three offender localities in Japan.

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