40,000 Motorists 'Habitual Drunk Drivers'

The number of habitual drunk drivers with more than three arrests for driving under the influence is rising. According to the Korea Road Traffic Authority on Tuesday, 39,355 or 15.2 percent of 258,213 motorists who were arrested for drunk driving in 2011 have racked up more than three DUI arrests and had their licenses suspended or revoked.

The proportion has been rising consistently from 10.2 percent in 2007 to 14.6 percent in 2010. Drunk drivers have also caused huge damage. A total of 733 people were killed and 51,135 injured by drunk drivers last year.

"The rise in drunk driving recidivism is proof that many people with cars are still very laid-back about alcohol consumption," said Lee Hae-kuk, a professor at Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jun. 14, 2012 13:11 KST