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A toughened nationwide road traffic law has cut the number of drunken driving violations by 1,846 since it came into effect three months ago, the National Police Agency said Thursday.

The agency said there were 56,864 violations nationwide between June 1 and Aug. 31, compared with 58,710 in the same period a year earlier.

There are three levels of violation under the revised law: drunken driving, driving with a breath-alcohol reading over 0.25 mg per liter, and driving with a reading between 0.15 mg and 0.25 mg. Judging the top level is left to police discretion.

The third and lowest category is a new addition to the law.

According to NPA figures, 1.2 percent of the violations in the three-month period involved drunken driving, while 51.2 percent involved the second category and 47.6 percent the third.

Offenders at any level face up to a year in prison or a fine not exceeding 300,000 yen.

The law also raised the number of penalty points.

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