Court Upholds Suspended Sentence for Pirates' Kang Jung-ho

  • By Choi Yeon-jin

    May 19, 2017 10:27

    Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Kang Jung-ho leaves the Seoul Central District Court in Seoul on Thursday. /Newsis

    The Seoul Central District Court on Thursday upheld a two-year suspended sentence for drunk driving for Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Kang Jung-ho. That means he will not be returning to Major League Baseball for the time being.

    In December, Kang hit a guardrail in his BMW after drinking with his friends in Samseong-dong, Seoul and fled the scene. His blood-alcohol content was 0.084 percent, way above the legal limit of 0.05 percent, which led to the revocation of his driver's license.

    His lawyer asked for leniency on appeal, saying he will have trouble getting his Green Card renewed if the sentence is upheld.

    But the court said Kang already has two prior convictions for drunk driving and still managed to cause another accident while under the influence. "Fines clearly failed to deter him, so now more severe punishment is called for," it added.

    Kang was arrested for drunk driving in September 2009 and May 2011, and the latest incident triggered the "three strikes" rule, which immediately cancels his driver's license.

    Originally, prosecutors only sought a summary order against him with a fine of W15 million (US$1=W1,126). But the court referred him to a formal trial.

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