Okinawa-based airman accused in drunken-driving crash that injured 2
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa – An airman assigned to Kadena Air Base was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving Tuesday after he crashed into another vehicle at a busy intersection, injuring two people, police said Thursday.
Senior Airman Dalon Jerome Alford, 22, was taken into custody just before 8 p.m. in front of the Aeon Mall Okinawa Rycom in Kitanakagusuku, a spokesman from the Okinawa Police Station told Stars and Stripes by phone.
Alford’s blood-alcohol level was three times Japan’s legal limit of 0.03 percent when police arrived, the spokesman said. By comparison, all 50 U.S. states have set 0.08 as the limit for driving under the influence or driving while impaired.
“I thought I had sobered up,” he told police, according to the spokesman.
Alford was heading east on Route 85 with two airmen when he attempted to take a right-hand turn into the mall parking lot, the spokesman said. He struck a car heading in the opposite direction.
The other driver, a woman in her 20s, suffered neck pain, the spokesman said, and her female passenger complained of back pain.
Both parties had a green light at the time of the incident, but the woman had the right of way, the spokesman said.
Alford was not injured in the crash, the spokesman said. Police were unclear whether his two passengers were hurt.
Alford was still being held Thursday at Okinawa Police Station, the spokesman said. Police were questioning him to find out where he was before the crash.
Alford’s passengers – both male senior airmen – could also face charges if they knew he was driving while intoxicated, the spokesman added.
“It is still under the investigation whether they knew, but if they did, they are responsible, too,” he said.
Officials from Kadena’s 18th Wing could not be reached for comment Thursday.
It’s customary in Japan for some government officials to speak to the media on condition of anonymity.