A 20-year old member of the U.S. Air Force stationed at the Kadena Air Base (KAB) was arrested by the Kadena police on the spot on Sept. 4 for violating the Road Traffic Law’s provisions on driving under the influence of alcohol. He denied the charge, claiming he did not drink alcohol on Sept. 3.
The suspect was caught driving with an alcohol level over the legal limit on a village road in Nagahama, Yomitan, at 11:58 p.m. on Sept. 3.
The Okinawa Prefectural Government lodged a verbal protest with the KAB and the Okinawa Defense Bureau on Sept. 4. Norikazu Kinjo, head of the Military Base Affairs Division, stated over the phone: “We strongly urge you to take every possible measure to further tighten discipline and educate U.S. military personnel thoroughly to prevent similar incidents from recurring.”
According to the Okinawa government, there were 13 DUI incidents by U.S. military personnel in the past year and 9 of them involved Air Force members. (Slightly abridged)