The Constitutional Court has ruled that the Road Traffic Act, the so-called Yun Chang-ho Act, which imposes aggravated punishment with imprisonment and fines, is in violation of the Constitution if people are caught driving under the influence of alcohol more than twice.



The Constitutional Court today (25th) filed a constitutional complaint stating that the 'person who violated the prohibition of drunk driving more than twice' in the provisions of Article 148-2 of the Road Traffic Act violated the principle of clarity of the criminal justice system and the principle of excessive prohibition. The decision was unconstitutional by a vote of 7-2.



Those who violate the drunk driving ban two or more times are sentenced to 2 to 5 years in prison or a fine of 10 million to 20 million won.



The majority opinion judges found that this provision violated the 'principle of proportionality between liability and punishment'.



They said that the provision "has no time limit between past violations of the drunk driving ban, which is an aggravating requirement, and recidivism, which is subject to punishment." He also pointed out that he does not ask for a previous criminal record.



For example, if a person caught driving under the influence of alcohol has been driving under the influence of alcohol more than 10 years ago, the current violation can be regarded as an anti-normative act markedly lacking in law-abiding spirit or an act that repeatedly threatens the life and body of members of society. However, the majority judge judged that it was difficult to evaluate.



“It is difficult to find examples of aggravated punishment of unlimited second-degree criminals without any time limit on the grounds of war crimes, and it does not meet the purpose of acknowledging the statute of limitations or the invalidity of the sentence.”he added.



The judges also judged that even with the same drunk driving, the degree of risk may be different in the past violation history, blood alcohol level, and the type of vehicle driven.



The Constitutional Court said, "Severe punishment for repeated drunk driving may meet the general public's legal feelings, but in the end, immunity and insensitivity to severe punishment will develop, which may undermine the authority of the law and undermine the stability of the legal order." Intensifying punishment as a measure to prevent driving should be the last resort.”



Meanwhile, judges Lee Seon-ae and Moon Hyung-bae, who opposed the opinion, said, "A driver with a history of drunk driving will also be punished in the same way as a first-time drunk driver if he undermines traffic safety and endangers the life, body, and property of innocent people in general. It cannot be seen that the legislator's assessment that it is unfair to do so is beyond the limits of its discretion."

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