TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — South Korea’s Supreme Court has rejected an eight-year prison sentence for the drunk driver who caused the death of a Taiwanese student, reports said Friday (Dec. 31).
The court ruled the sentence was too harsh and violated the country's constitution, sending the case back for a new trial, CNA reported.
Elaine Tseng (曾以琳), 28, was crossing a street in Seoul’s Gangnam District in November 2020 when a car fatally hit her. The driver, surnamed Kim, 52, had two previous convictions for driving under the influence when he ran a red light and hit the student.
Prosecutors reportedly asked for a six-year prison term, but a court ruled in April that Kim should spend eight years behind bars. In a ruling on Friday (Dec. 30), the Supreme Court found the verdict had been based on amendments in traffic laws it had ruled as unconstitutional in November.
The amendments were passed by South Korea’s legislature in 2018 as the result of a public outcry over the death of a man in a drunk-driving accident in Busan.