Drunk flying of drones to earn up to a year in prison in Japan
  • | The Telegraph | June 15, 2019 11:00 AM
Operating a drone while drunk may lead to up to a year in prison in Japan, after strict new legislation was passed to tighten regulations surrounding the popular devices.

Officials say they believe operating a drone after consuming alcohol is as serious as drink driving - TASS

Fuelled by growing concerns of accidents and mishaps, Japan’s lower house of parliament passed a new law which aims to more tightly control the public usage of drones.

Under the new legislation, flying a drone weighing more than 200 grams while drunk could result in a fine of up to 300,000 yen (£2,188).

Meanwhile, performing stunts which could endanger the public – including sharp drops in crowded areas – will also be subject to fines of up to 500,000 yen (£3,649).

“We believe operating drones after consuming alcohol is as serious as (drink) driving,” an official from the Transport Ministry told AFP.

The new legislation is the latest in a series of attempts by officials to more closely regular drone usage in Japan.

A set of laws passed last month also banned drones from flying above a number of key landmarks, including parliamentary buildings, US military facilities, sites related to the 2020 Olympics and the Imperial Palace.

Japanese media have reported a string of drone-related concerns and mishaps in recent years, as the popularity of the flying devices has gathered pace.

Concerns include the issue of tourists flying drones above packed tourist areas such as Kyoto, while two years ago, six people were injured at a “robot festival” in Gifu Prefecture after a drone designed to shower children with sweets plunged to the ground.

Four years ago, police investigated the discovery of a drone carrying radioactive traces which was landed on the roof of the prime minister’s official residence in Tokyo. Yasuo Yamamoto, an anti-nuclear protester, received a suspended two-year jail sentence for the stunt.

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