Another Pop Star in Drunk Driving Crash

Nichkhun Nichkhun

Nichkhun of the popular boy band 2PM was involved in a drunk driving accident on early Tuesday morning that left a motorcyclist injured. Only last Wednesday singer Alex was arrested for drunk driving in Seoul's wealthy Gangnam district.

Nichkhun was driving his Volkswagen down a hill in a backstreet in Gangnam at around 2:45 a.m. after a drinking session and collided with a 55-year-old man identified only as Park who was just turning into the alley on his motorcycle. Park injured his right shoulder, legs and face and is undergoing treatment at a hospital.

Nichkhun's blood-alcohol level was 0.056 percent, slightly over the 0.05 percent limit that would cost him his driver's license. His management agency JYP Entertainment in a statement said the Thai-born singer attended a dinner with artists from the agency. "They ate dinner and had a light drink, about two glasses of beer. Both Nichkhun and our company were careless, and we would like to sincerely apologize," it added.

JYP Entertainment did not comment on how the incident would affect Nichkhun's career. Entertainers in Korea who are popular among teens are expected to serve as role models for youngsters and are often judged harshly by the public for offenses like drunk driving or gambling.

Alex has already cancelled all his appearances on TV and on stage, saying he would take time off to reflect. But entertainers nabbed for drunk driving often return to the TV screens after only a brief hiatus.

"If we see celebrities frequently getting involved in drunk driving accidents, the public will become less sensitive to such offenses and celebrities learn that the public quickly forget their offenses," said Jang Ki-hoon at the Korean Alcohol Research Foundation.

Nichkhun was booked without arrest.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jul. 25, 2012 11:43 KST