Four Times the Standard and No Memory…Drunken Hit-and-Run “Witnesses’ Persistence in Pursuing Perpetrator”
The driving was visibly abnormal. The black mini-car went into the railroad tracks running directly in front of the car as it attempted to make a left turn at a T-junction. The car then veered out of the oncoming lane and rear-ended a cab waiting for a customer, injuring the 65-year-old driver for a week.
On November 3, Shinya Umezaki, 34, a company employee living in Minami Ward, Fukuoka City, was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving.
Umezaki caused the accident at around 2:00 a.m. on October 29. He was drunk and unable to drive properly. He collided with a cab near Nishitetsu ‘Ijiri’ station near his home. He flees the scene. The suspect Umezaki stated the following to the police investigation. I drank two or three glasses each of beer and whiskey at the restaurant. There is no doubt that he fled the scene, but he has no memory and does not remember the circumstances of the accident.
He was in a comatose state.
At the time of the accident, Umezaki’s breath was said to contain four times the legal limit for alcohol. There is a surprising reason why the suspect was quickly apprehended despite fleeing the scene of the accident.
A man who witnessed the accident chased Umezaki by car. The man who witnessed the accident chased Umezaki in his car and brought him back to the scene, persuading him not to run away but to explain the situation to the police. The witness called 110, and the incident was discovered. The drive recorder of the cab in which he was hit showed Umezaki’s car backing up and fleeing the scene.
Former Kanagawa Prefectural Police detective and crime journalist Taihei Ogawa explains the background of the incident.
The fact that four times the legal limit of alcohol was found in the car suggests that the suspect had not consumed the amount of alcohol as stated by the police, but rather two or three glasses of beer and a whisky. He must have been drinking far more than that. He would have been in a comatose state, rather than driving normally. Drunk driving is not something that should be tolerated just because you live close to home.
In August 2006, a car driven by a drunken man rear-ended a passenger car in Fukuoka, causing it to plunge into Hakata Bay. 5 people in the car, including a 3-year-old child, were killed or injured. The perpetrator was sentenced to 20 years in prison. In addition to this, there have been many accidents involving drunk drivers in Fukuoka. From now through the year-end and New Year holidays, there will be many opportunities to drink alcohol. Each and every one of us needs to vow to ourselves, ‘If I drink, I will never get on a car.'”
Drinking parties, which had been refrained from due to the spread of the new coronavirus, are now being held this year. Drinking and then driving home is not an option. What is needed is a strong awareness of drunk driving on the part of each individual.