Japan’s ANN News television station has reported that the 18-year-old high-school student and 20-year-old man were riding bicycles in Chiba prefecture when they were hit by the car carrying the three Thais, whose alcohol concentration was above the legal limit. The names and photos of the Thais were not revealed.
The Thai man suspected of having been the driver was still denying he was behind the wheel when the accident occurred. He was unable to produce an international driver’s licence.
He was charged with driving without a licence and recklessness that caused death and injuries. If found guilty of driving under the influence, he could face a jail term of up to 20 years.
The report of accident has gone viral, with many netizens saying Japan should cancel free-visa privileges for Thais.
The Thai Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Japan’s drunk-driving laws were severe. Even a passenger in a car driven by a drunk person who causes an accident could face a jail term of up to three years.
The ministry quoted the J-Campus website as saying that Japan is one of the top-ranked countries with high road safety, while pedestrians and drivers strictly follow the rules and regulations. These are the main reasons road accidents in Japan have been rapidly reduced.
According to traffic rules, a person lending his car to another person who is found guilty of drunk driving and causing death or injuries will face the same punishment as the driver.