SEOUL, Aug. 27 (Korea Bizwire) — The number of traffic accidents and fatalities caused by drunk driving fell sharply nationwide for two months after a tougher anti-DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol) law took effect on June 25, police said Tuesday.
According to the National Police Agency (NPA), there was a total of 1,975 traffic accidents caused by DUI from June 25 to Aug. 24, marking a decrease of 37.2 percent from 3,145 accidents in the same period of last year.
The number of fatalities caused by DUI nosedived 65 percent to 21 over the past two months, the NPA said.
Under the revised law, a driver’s license is suspended when their blood alcohol level is 0.03 percent or higher and is revoked when the level is 0.08 percent or higher.
Previously, the corresponding levels were 0.05 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively.
The new law is named the Second Yoon Chang-ho Act after an Army conscript who was killed by a drunk driver in Busan last year.
The death prompted the National Assembly to revise two separate laws for tougher DUI punishment.
The First Yoon Chang-ho Act, which came into effect on Dec. 18 last year, increased the minimum penalty for DUI offenses resulting in deaths from at least one year to three years.
“For the past five years, deaths from drunk driving accidents have steadily decreased. Following the enforcement of the First and Second Yoon Chang-ho Act, the pace of decline has accelerated,” said an NPA official, noting the reduction rate in DUI-related fatalities changed from 21.2 percent last year to 33.8 percent until Aug. 24 this year.
The number of DUI offenders fell 30.9 percent on-year in the June 25-Aug. 24 period.
Of 19,310 DUI offenders caught over the past two months, 13,237 had their licenses revoked, with another 5,483 punished by license suspension, the NPA said.
The NPA said it will carry out an intensive anti-DUI crackdown across the country for 100 days beginning Sept. 9.