SEOUL, Jul. 26 (Korea Bizwire) — The number of drivers caught driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) decreased by about 11 percent nationwide in the month after a tougher anti-DUI law took effect on June 25, police said Friday.
According to the National Police Agency (NPA), 296 DUI offenses were reported daily on average across the country from June 25 to July 24, down 11.4 percent from a daily average of 334 offenses in the first five months of the year.
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.
Of the 296 drivers booked on DUI charges on average per day in the one-month period, 201 had their licenses revoked and the licenses of 86 others were suspended, the NPA said, adding that 32 of the 86 were punished for having blood alcohol levels of between 0.03 and 0.05 percent, which was not punished previously.
It also said an average of 36 of the 201 people subject to license revocation were found to have blood alcohol levels of between 0.08 and 1 percent, which was previously punished by license suspension.
The police agency noted that 70 of the daily average of 296 DUI offenses were caught between 10 p.m. and midnight, followed by 55 between midnight and 2 a.m., 38 between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., and 33 between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m.
It said 49 drivers suspected of driving while hungover were caught between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m. every day.
The number of DUI offenses fell in almost all parts of the nation, though the figure increased slightly in Busan and Daegu. In Seoul, the number of DUI offenses filed by police decreased 23.3 percent after June 25.
The average number of daily drunk driving accidents fell 30.1 percent from 40.9 before June 25 to 28.6 afterward.
The number of DUI-caused injuries fell 33.9 percent, with the number of DUI-related deaths dropping from 0.7 person a day to 0.2 person.
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.
The new law, called the Second Yoon Chang-ho Act, is expected to bring great changes to the drinking culture and lifestyle of a society that is relatively lenient on drinking and drinking-induced accidents, as now drinking even a small amount of liquor can result in a drunk driving violation.