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A Japanese couple who lost two daughters to a drunk driver have touched off a crusade to get boozy drivers off the road, the Los Angeles Times reports.

By speaking out about their tragedy and pressing their case in the courts, the Inoues have turned drunk driving into a public-safety issue in Japan, following a path blazed by Cindi Lamb and Candace Lightner, the Americans who started Mothers Against Drunk Driving in the early 1980s.

The couple collected collected 374,000 signatures on a petition to toughen Japan’s penalties, and the Japanese parliament responded by tripling, to 15 years, the maximum prison sentence for drunk drivers who cause a death.

Drunk driving is far less prevalent in Japan than in the United States, where more than 17,000 people were killed in alcohol-related traffic accidents last year.

Link: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-japandrunk30jul30,1,5603078.story?coll=la-h

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