HOKKAIDO (TR) – Two police officers were arrested on Sunday and charged with alleged drunk driving and a hit-and-run crash in Obihiro City.
Hokkaido Prefectural Police arrested Issei Otaka, 20, and Kazuma Tomoda, 20, on suspicion of violating the Road Traffic Law for allegedly crashing into a car that was waiting at a traffic light on an opposite lane while intoxicated at around 4:20 a.m. and then fleeing the scene, the Asahi Shimbun reports (June 19).
Police said Otaka and Tomoda, who admitted to the charges, consumed alcohol with friends over a roughly five-hour period when they went to a barbecue followed by a karaoke establishment on Saturday night.
The 50-year-old man who was driving the car was not injured, according to the Mainichi Shimbun.
The pair told police they drove “back to the dormitory, but the license plate was missing so we decided to split up and look for it.”
The Mainichi said police arrested Otaka when he returned to the crime scene driving a car that was missing its bumper and license plate. Tomoda was arrested after he returned to the dormitory following a search for the license plate using a different car.
The Sankei Shimbun reported that breathalyzer tests indicated both Otaka and Tomoda exceeded legal limits.
According to the Asahi, Otaka and Tomoda joined the Hokkaido police force in April 2014. Authorities believe Otaka was off-duty on Saturday, while Tomoda was working until 5:30 p.m.
Hokkaido Prefectural Police Inspection Office Director Hiromitsu Shirai said in a statement, “I deeply apologize over police personnel causing a drunk-driving case amid an ongoing anti-drunk-driving drive.”
“Strict punishment will be meted out pending investigation results,” Shirai said.