When many people think of what aiding and abetting a crime is, they may think of a get-a-way driver. What people may not know is that in South Korea this also includes letting someone knowingly drive under the influence.
In Korea, anyone who provides car keys to someone who is under the influence of alcohol or any illicit substance or accompanies them while they drive may be charged with aiding and abetting the committing of a crime – in this case DUI.
There are several ways for an individual to be charged with aiding and abetting DUI. Most notably, when a passenger knowingly allows the driver to drive under the influence. Another one is giving car keys when the individual knows that the driver is intoxicated, said KNP Investigator Yoo Sung-hee, KNP Branch Office, U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys.
Under Korean law, those who aid and abet a DUI can be punished with up to three years of imprisonment or a $800 fine. In the event of an accident, there is a 20 to 40% civil liability, said Yoo. The law about aiding and abetting is not new, but a recent increase in DUI related incidents has raised concern among the Korean National Police.
The best way to avoid a DUI is by ensuring a person drinking alcohol has a sober designated driver, said Yoo. But even the best plans can be derailed by a single drink. One of the many reasons why aiding and abetting laws came into effect is because some people knowingly let others drive under the influence.
When in doubt, call a taxi or a friend who has refrained from drinking alcohol entirely, added Yoo.
Unlike in much of the U.S., where in some states BAC can be as high as 0.08%, an individual in Korea may be charged with a DUI with a BAC 0.03% or higher, said KNP Officer Ko, Da-yeon, KNP Branch Office, USAG Humphreys.
“Recently, the Korean National Police and the prosecutor’s office made a plan to crack down on those who aid and abet DUIs, because the number has increased,” said Yoo.
“In the warmer months, the number of DUIs are higher,” added Ko. "To ensure public safety, the KNP has increased the number of DUI checkpoints during the summer months."