The police said Korean actress Kim Sae-ron was so drunk when they caught her after she plowed her SUV into several structures in Gangnam, Seoul on May 18.
At 8 a.m. on May 18, Kim Sae-ron was driving in Cheongdam, Gangnam in Seoul when she crashed and hit a guardrail, tree and a transformer, which caused a power outage in the area, affecting business establishments and traffic.
After the incident, she drove away but was caught by the police. She refused to take a breathalyzer and asked the police for her to undergo a blood alcohol test and was taken to a nearby hospital.
The police said after blood collection, they plan to request Korea’s National Forensic Service to check Kim Sae-ron’s blood alcohol level and the results are expected to come out after several days.
“Kim Sae-ron was so drunk that she couldn’t even speak properly,” said the police, Korean media outlet JoongAng Ilbo reported.
Kim Sae-ron is facing charges of drunk driving and damaging properties.
Under the Korean law Road Traffic Act, “The threshold for the state of intoxication at which a person is prohibited from driving a motor vehicle, etc. pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be not less than 0.03 percent of blood-alcohol concentration.”
Article 148-2 of the same law states that a person who drives a motor vehicle while intoxicated will be punished under the following:
“1. A person whose blood alcohol content is not less than 0.2 percent shall be punished by imprisonment with labor for not less than 2 years but not more than 5 years or by a fine not less than 10 million won [$7,850] but not exceeding 20 million won [$15,700];
“2. A person whose blood alcohol content is not less than 0.08 percent but less than 0.2 percent shall be punished by imprisonment with labor for not less than 1 year but not more than 2 years or a by fine not less than 5 million won [$3,925] but not exceeding 10 million won ($7,850];
“3. A person whose blood alcohol content is not less than 0.03 percent but less than 0.08 percent shall be punished by imprisonment with labor for not more than 1 year or by a fine not exceeding 5 million won [$3,925].”
Veteran Korean actor Lee Soon-jae, 88, criticized Kim Sae-ron for driving under the influence.
“It is often said that celebrities are not public figures, but they have a public personality. Since every move has a social impact, especially on young people, we have to follow the laws and regulations first,” he said during an interview for the upcoming movie “Good Morning.”
About her accident, Lee Soon-jae said, “You should never do that. If you are dealing with the public, you should always be able to control yourself and be careful. You have to think about the impact that you can have on society. You have to keep a low profile.”
“Don’t put pressure on your shoulders just because you earn a lot of money and are popular. You should always be humble and thankful,” he said.
Kim Sae-ron issued a public apology and admitted driving under the influence on May 19.
“I’m sorry to inform you of my position late after organizing the accident and damage situation first,” she said.
She added, “At the time, I had made a major mistake while under the influence of alcohol. With my wrong judgment and actions, I have caused damage to so many people, including merchants in the surrounding shopping malls, citizens, and restoration workers.”
“I should have acted more cautiously and responsibly, but I couldn’t. I sincerely apologize. The damage caused by the accident is being dealt with with the company, and we will do our best to communicate and actively resolve the matter until the end,” she said.
According to Kim Sae-ron, “Also, I am very sorry to my fellow actors and staff, as well as the production team, for the disruption to the production of the work being filmed and the work being prepared. Once again, I deeply apologize and apologize for any inconvenience caused.”
“There is no excuse for this unfortunate incident, and I am disappointed and so ashamed of myself for the wrongs I have committed. I will reflect deeply so that this does not happen again. I am sorry,” she said.