Operating a drone while drunk is now illegal in Japan

Japan has passed new legislation that outlaws operating a drone while drunk. Drunk flying a drone could now lead to a year of imprisonment.

The new law was passed this week by the country’s parliament. It aims to regulate the increasingly popular use of unmanned aerial vehicles, BBC reports. Japan’s new legislation covers drones that weigh more than 200 grams and also limits the areas where drones can be operated.

Intoxicated drone flyers can face a fine of up to 300,000 JPY or 4,015 AUD aside from a year of jail time.

Officials in Japan have expressed their concerns about the dangers of flying drones while under the influence of alcohol. A Japanese transport ministry official told AFP news agency, “We believe operating drones after consuming alcohol is as serious as (drink) driving.”

Aside from fines and jail time for drunken flying, the law also fines operators who perform dangerous aerial stunts with their drone. One stunt, in particular, could land drone users fines of up to 500,000 JPY or 6,694 AUD. It involves hastily plunging the craft down towards crowds of people.

Restrictions in the areas where you can legally fly their aerial craft are also applied under the new Japanese law. In addition, a drone-ban is now in effect around “defense-related facilities”. It is illegal to fly drones within 985 ft of Japan’s Armed forces and US military personnel. One must be granted prior permission by the government to do so. Stadiums and other locations for the 2020 Olympics are also off-limits to drone flyers.

Christian Woods
Christian Woods
Christian is a morning reporter and technology columnist for Best in Australia. Christian has worked in the media since 2000, in a range of locations. He joined Best in Australia in 2018, and began working in Melbourne in 2019.
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