Constitutional Court to punish drunk driving more than twice “Excessive legal punishment”

The Constitutional Court has ruled that the so-called ‘Yun Chang-ho Act’, which requires aggravated punishment for drunk drivers twice or more, is against the Constitution.

The Constitutional Court today (25th) ruled that the constitutional complaint filed by Mr. A, who was on trial for violating the prohibition of drunk driving more than twice, stating that Article 148-2 (1) of the Road Traffic Act was unconstitutional with a 7 to 2 opinion of the judges I did.

Article 148-2 (1) of the Road Traffic Act stipulates that a driver who violates the prohibition of drunk driving more than twice shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than 2 years and not more than 5 years, or by a fine of not less than 10 million won and not more than 20 million won.

This provision was amended in 2018 after the late Yoon Chang-ho, who was hit and killed by a drunk-driving car in Haeundae-gu, Busan, and is called the “Yun Chang-ho Act.”

First of all, the Constitutional Court holds that there is no time limit between past violations of the prohibition against drunk driving, which is an aggravating factor, and violations of the prohibition of recidivism, which are subject to punishment. I took issue with the fact that they don’t even ask for fruit.

The Constitutional Court explained, “It is difficult to find examples of aggravated punishment for crimes (second offenders) that occur unlimited and later without any time limit,” and “it does not meet the purpose of acknowledging the statute of limitations or the invalidity of the sentence.”

The Constitutional Court also said, “There is a type of re-offending drunk driving that has a relatively low level of risk to protection and interests in light of past violations, blood alcohol level, and type of vehicle driven. It is set at 10 million won, so that the possibility of criticism is relatively low and the punishment is excessively severe, even for acts with relatively light crimes.”

He also ruled that the provision violates the principle of proportionality between liability and punishment as it “sets up an excessive statutory punishment that significantly deviates from the degree necessary for the original function of the punishment.”

On the other hand, Judges Lee Seon-ae and Moon Hyeong-bae said, “The subject of judgment is a regulation that was legislated in accordance with criminal policy considerations to severely punish and prevent recidivism drunk driving in the wake of the so-called ‘Chang-ho Yoon case’. Therefore, there is a reasonable reason for the aggravated punishment of a recidivist drunk driver according to the provision for judgment.”

[사진 출처 : 게티이미지]

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