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Women first Okinawans to feel new lawís sting

Date Posted: 2007-09-27

Two Okinawa women will be slapped with •1 million fines for providing alcohol to others, knowing the men were going to drive cars after drinking.
The women were apprehended Tuesday, less than a week after the Japanese traffic law changed, mandating penalties of up to •1 million in fines and up to five years in jail for giving a car to someone who is drunk, riding together in a car with someone who is drunk, or serving alcohol to someone who is driving. The two were the first Okinawans charged under the revised law.
A 50-year-old Urasoe City woman bought cans of beer, which she then shared with a male friend, even though she knew he would be driving. Police say the pair drank at Ginowan City Fishing Port. The man involved was apprehended last Thursday, one day after the new law went into effect. Police who arrested and charged the woman after completing their investigation say both will pay the high fine.
In Ishikawa, Uruma City, a 21-year-old woman was arrested for giving her car to a man, and then rode in the car with him even though she knew he was drunk. She and her 21-year-old companion had been drinking at an Izakaya before driving. Police stopped the vehicle and then discovered the driver was not only drunk, but did not have a driverís license. The man was arrested on the spot.
The woman was charged with both giving the car to her friend, and then riding with him although she knew he was drunk. She insisted to police, however, that she didnít know the man driving her car didnít have a license.

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