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Driving drunk is a serious matter, and no matter what country you’re in, you can be sure to expect serious consequences should you decide to take the wheel after a drink too many – or in some countries after even a single sip.

However, a photo of this chart detailing punishments by country for drunk driving, posted by Twitter user @luckyseven43, has Japanese net users discussing whether some of these punishments – like the death penalty for a first offense – are too harsh.

As much as drinking is a part of Japanese society – what with consumption of alcohol allowed in public, and nomikai (groups of friends or coworkers gathering to drink at a bar or pub) being an almost daily event for Japanese businessmen – Japan, like many other countries, takes drunk driving very seriously. The maximum blood alcohol content allowed is 0.03% (compared to 0.08% in the UK and US), and being caught driving with alcohol in your system can get your license revoked, a hefty fine, and/or jail time.

If we take a look at the sentences offenders will receive in other countries, we see that in South Africa you can receive up to 10 years jail time and $10,000 in fines, and in Russia you can have your licensed revoked indefinitely.

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Then it gets a bit… different. In Malaysia, if you are caught driving while under the influence, not only you but your spouse will be arrested as well. That’s a life sentence right there–you’d never live that one down!

▼Someone’s going to be sleeping on the couch for the rest of his life.

in the doghouseImage: The Healing Way

Then there’s Bulgaria and El Salvador. In Bulgaria, it’s execution by firing squad on your second offense. In El Salvador, there are no second chances:

“El Salvador is the winner,” writes one net user. “If we had punishment by death after the first offense, we’d pretty much get rid of drunk driving in Japan. lol,” quips another.

As serious (and dangerous) an offense as drunk driving is, execution after being caught even slightly over the limit on one occasion seems a bit excessive in this day and age. Further investigation brings up mixed information, however, leading us to question the validity of this chart (Bulgaria apparently outlawed the death penalty in 1998…) since it seems that even if it were the case in the past, it is highly unlikely that it still happens today. There is also no real evidence for the claims about El Salvador either; maybe some of our readers can set the record straight and inform these concerned Japanese netizens?

Still, most commentors seem to agree that drunk driving is a definitely big no-no, no matter the punishment:

“They should be even more strict.”

“Do not drive drunk. Ever.”

“If you’re going to drink, don’t drive. If you’re going to drive, don’t drink.”

Perhaps the most creative punishment of all, though, comes from Turkey, where police will purportedly take the perpetrator approximately 32 kilometers (about 20 miles) outside of town and make them walk the entire way back. While this doesn’t sound like an official punishment, some sources say that Turkish police “have been known” to do this. It doesn’t sound like a bad idea.

What are the penalties for drunk driving in your country?

Source/featured image from Hamster Sokuhou