Officer’s fender-bender after bender a nonissue


A 57-year-old superintendent in the Hyogo Prefectural Police caused a car accident in Kobe in May when he took the wheel six hours after consuming alcohol, injuring a college student on a motorbike, prefectural police said Monday.

The police inspection office said it does not plan to punish the officer, who was a superintendent of the automobile patrol corps at the time of the accident. The officer now heads a drivers’ license testing center under the control of Hyogo police.

“To our understanding it was not drunk driving because it is believed that he was not under the influence of alcohol when he was driving,” Hyogo police said in a statement. “However, as a senior police official in charge of traffic control, it was a careless act.”

The officer’s name has not been disclosed.

The superintendent had what police officials described as a sip of beer and two glasses of whiskey with water at a police officials’ party in Tokyo at around 6 p.m. May 11.

After returning to his Kobe home, he left to return rental videos at around 11:30 p.m. About 20 minutes later, his car collided with the 21-year-old student’s motorbike when the officer was making a U-turn.

Police did not take a breath test at the time because his behavior appeared normal and the case was classified as an accident resulting in property damage.