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Habitual drunk drivers to be subject to vehicle forefeiture

June 28, 2023 - 14:39 By Choi Jae-hee
A police officer conducts a sobriety test on a driver in Seoul on April 20. (Yonhap)

Starting next month, habitual drunk drivers could face the forfeiture of their vehicles.

The punishment is among a package of measures to combat drunk driving announced Wednesday by the Supreme Public Prosecutors' Office and the National Police Agency.

Drivers to be subject to vehicle seizure are those who have caused a car crash resulting in death or serious injury, and those with a history of two or more drunk driving incidents within five years or three or more incidents within five years.

The authorities also plan to adhere to the principle that all habitual drunk drivers undergo investigation while in custody, irrespective of their blood alcohol content level at the time they were apprehended n or the extent of damage they caused.

Drunk driving accidents rose to 15,059 in 2022 from 14.894 a year earlier, according to police data. Fatalities from such accidents stood at 214 last year, slightly up from the previous year’s tally of 206 but down from 2019’s 295.