A recent study revealed that alcoholism had increased by nearly 250 percent in Japan, in comparison to the number of alcoholics three decades ago. Alcohol has become a part of the daily routine for most of the Japanese population, and this assumed a near insurmountable problem for the Japanese.
The Japanese laws, relating to alcohol consumption, impose stringent penalties on people who indulge in drunken driving. Most of these penalties are similar to those obtaining in Ireland. Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious crime in Japan; and it is also a crime to permit or encourage a person who has consumed alcohol, to drive a vehicle. This applies to passengers in a vehicle, whose driver has already consumed alcohol. Thus, passengers should not allow a drunken person to drive their vehicle.
Japan has changed its Traffic Act, and the new Act was enacted with effect from June 2002. The new law reduced the statutory standard of alcohol concentration in the blood for drivers. It also imposes heavier and more stringent penalties on the drivers whose alcohol concentration level is above the legal limit. As such, this new Traffic Act imposes harsher penalties for offenses committed by drunken drivers.
In its report of June 2003, the National Police Agency of Japan reported that there was a steep decline in fatal accidents, resulting from alcohol consumption. There was a nearly 30% decrease after the implementation of the new Traffic Act. This rate remained unchanged in the subsequent twelve