Did you know that traffic infractions in Japan will cost you money and “points” on your license, if not jail time? Too many points, and you are back to walking to the convenience store.
If you have no other violations, have a bad month and accumulate 6 points in parking tickets (3 points per ticket for parking in a no standing area twice), you will lose your license. The worse the infraction, the more points you will get against you. For example, speeding 40km–50km over the limit will also net you 6 points and a 1 month suspension, unless, of course, you already have points against accumulated! The minimum amount of points needed to garner a suspension is a sliding scale that gets stricter with every additional suspension on your record. With one additional suspension on your record, 6 points will find you walking to the market for 90 days. With 2 previous suspensions you might as well buy new shoes, because your license will be revoked, and you are walking for a year!
Driving under the influence is never a good idea, and in Japan its particularly bad. With a even a low level, less than a beer, you will get 6 points, with only a slightly higher level you will receive 13. If you are found to be drink driving, or driving drunk, you will receive 25 points, and your license will be a fond memory for 2 years. Below you will find a link to a site detailing the fines, points, and sentences associated with various infractions. Check it out here, and drive carefully!
If you do not currently drive in Japan, but are interested in getting some information about getting a license, be sure to check out Japan Driver’s License for full service assistance, driving test training material, and eligibility consultations.