Due to confusion for service members stationed in Japan, the military announced on Monday — after months of review — that all US troops in that country will have to adhere to a much stricter blood alcohol content level while driving.
Air Force Lt. Col. Ken Hoffman, a spokesman for U.S. Forces Japan said the move does not come in response to an increase in drunken driving arrests on U.S. bases and it was not prompted by any incidents.
He says that as guests in Japan, their No. 1 goal was to have on-base standards that match the rules the Japanese set across their country.
According to Marine Corps Times, the allowable blood alcohol content level for all troops operating vehicles on U.S. bases in Japan is now 0.03 percent. The legal limit for most states in the U.S. is 0.08 percent.
These new standards will apply to drivers on or off base, since .03 is the blood alcohol limit for drivers in Japan, said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Terrence Greene, U.S. Forces Japan’s top enlisted leader.
Based on research by the Nat’l Hwy Traffic Safety Admin., a 160-pound man would be close to reaching the new limit after one drink, while a woman weighing any less than 140 pounds is likely to be over the new limit after one drink.
Anyone caught violating the limit will face a suspended license or Uniform Code of Military Justice charges, Greene said.
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