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Osaka bar owner first busted under new law

Date Posted: 2007-09-23

Mariko Nishioka is the first bar owner to be punished under terms of a new law holding bars and their employees responsible for serving customers who then drive under the influence of alcohol.
The 53-year-old beer hall owner in the Neyagawa District of Osaka is charged with allegedly serving glasses of beer to a customer, even though she knew he would be driving his car later. The 45-year-old customer was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.
The Japan Amended Traffic Law, which went into effect September 1st, has new provisions making bar owners and bartenders—or private citizens, for that matter—accountable for providing an intoxicated person with alcohol who subsequently is found to be driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated. In this case, the driver was charged with DUI, making Nishioka liable for confinement up to three years, or a fine up to ¥500,000.

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