Besides the number of drinks, not much seems to add up quite right about this incident.
In Fukuoka City on the early morning of 8 May, a compact car suddenly drifted into oncoming traffic and struck a van. Luckily the driver of the van and his four-year-old daughter, who was also in the vehicle, were not seriously injured, and despite the compact car flipping over, its driver was also not seriously hurt.
When police arrived they tested the driver of the compact, a 23-year-old woman, to find that her blood-alcohol content was four times the legal limit. As a result she was charged with drunk driving.
However, the suspect is denying the charges saying that she had “only drank 15 non-alcoholic beers” while out with a friend before getting behind the wheel.
Police are currently investigating her claims, but this excuse was met with widespread skepticism from all who heard it.
“I can’t even drink 15 bottles of water in a night.”
“That’s the worst excuse I’ve ever heard.”
“Back in the day, non-alcoholic beers used to have around 0.5 percent alcohol. But nowadays non-alcoholic means actual zero. Her story doesn’t hold up.”
“I could have had four regular beers and then sobered up completely in the same time it must have taken her to drink 15 non-alcoholic beers.”
“I guess if you drink 15 of anything you’re going to feel kind of messed up.”
As one comment pointed out, “non-alcoholic” beers in Japan used to have around 0.5 percent alcohol but now are pretty much all labeled 0.00 percent. However, it doesn’t seem like she was using that as a cooked-up excuse because at 23 years old those kinds of slightly alcoholic non-alcoholic beers would have probably been before her time.
And even if she happened to ingest 15 of those bygone 0.5-percent beers, she still would have to have drunk them in an inhumanly rapid succession to have gotten a blood alcohol content anywhere near what the police were reporting.
Perhaps a more likely scenario is that she mistakenly had low-alcohol beer that is usually around two-percent, thinking it was non-alcoholic beer. Fifteen low-alcohol beers – even over the course of nine hours – would have pushed her well above the legal limits.
But as other comments pointed out, 15 is still an awful lot of anything to drink. In other words, the story is very fishy any way you look at it.
Giving the suspect the benefit of the doubt, this may very well have been some freak event like a false positive on the test. Or, in the event that she had been given the wrong kind of beer, there may need to be better standards of distinguishing non-alcoholic beer from low-alcohol beer to prevent these kinds of potentially tragic mistakes.
However if the investigation reveals that she’s just BS-ing and knowingly went behind the wheel drunk, then for the sake of all the fathers, four-year-old daughters, and everyone else out on the road, I would be more than happy to see her behind bars… maybe give her a face tattoo as well.