“Excessive punishment for two times of drunk driving”… Part of the Yun Chang-ho Act is unconstitutional


The Constitutional Court has ruled that some provisions of the so-called Yoon Chang-ho Act, which require aggravated punishment for drunk driving twice or more, are against the Constitution. Controversy is also brewing over this Constitutional Court’s decision, saying that it is excessive to impose aggravated punishment without considering how long the past drinking history has been.

Correspondent Won Jong-jin.

In the early morning of September 25, 2018, Yoon Chang-ho, who was on vacation while serving in the military, was hit by a car while intoxicated and died.

A public opinion arose that such a tragedy should never happen again, and the so-called ‘Yun Chang-ho Act’, which raised the level of punishment for drunk driving, was passed by the National Assembly.

However, Mr. A, who was put on trial with this provision, filed a constitutional complaint saying that the punishment was excessive, and the Constitutional Court ruled yesterday (25th) that the provisions related to the Yoon Chang-ho Act were unconstitutional.

The Constitutional Court took issue with the fact that the provision only stipulated that the subject of aggravated punishment was ‘more than two times of drunk driving’, but did not set a deadline.

For example, if the past drunk driving history occurred more than 10 years ago, it is difficult to evaluate it as a repeat crime.

In addition, we decided that aggravated punishment without considering the severity of the violation is not in line with the legal principle that punishment and responsibility should be proportional.

However, two constitutional judges Lee Seon-ae and Moon Hyeong-pyo said that the level of punishment for crimes is a matter for the legislator to decide in consideration of the circumstances of the times and the public’s opinion of the law.

While some are concerned that the Constitutional Court’s decision could have side effects that lower awareness of drunk driving, the police said they would improve the punishment rules for recidivism by supplementing the deficiencies in the current regulations.


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