After spate of incidents, Japan increases punishments for pilots who drink and fly

The Japan Times 

The Diet enacted a revised aviation law Thursday that increases punishments for pilots found to have flown under the influence of alcohol or drugs following a series of drinking-related incidents involving Japanese airlines. Under the legislation, which will take effect in stages within one year of its official announcement, the penalty for drinking and flying has been raised from a maximum one-year jail term or ¥300,000 fine to a sentence of up to three years or a ¥500,000 fine. Japanese airlines have already tightened drinking rules, introducing mandatory Breathalyzer tests and relieving pilots of their duties if even a very low level of alcohol is detected. Those flying private planes, however, are not subject to the same checks. The legislation also seeks to improve aviation safety ahead of the intended mid-2020 delivery of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet, Japan's first homegrown commercial passenger jet.