Friday, September 14, 2007

Darwin Awards Nominee from Gyeongju!

You see in Korea, they set up random drunk-driving check points and submit EVERYONE driving through to a breathalyzer test on the spot. I always got through when I had a car here. Sometimes, oddly enough, certain cops would just wave me through. Maybe they figured "hey, a black woman in Korea wouldn't be stupid enough to drive drunk". They'd be right on that, but I'm not stupid or irresponsible enough to do it back home either.

The breathalyzers seem to be tuned to a reasonable level, because when I lived in the country working at a SKY uni sometimes co-workers and I would have dinner and drink after work. I'd always limit myself to one beer because my drive home involved a stretch of road where the breathalyzer crew camped out quite a bit. I never got detained for having one beer on my breath, so their equipment seems to be tuned right. Of course, I've never known Koreans to limit their intake to one anything when out drinking, so maybe the breathalyzers are tuned for super-sized fumes ;-)

This headline caught my attention: Man Dies Fleeing Drunk-Driving Checkpoint

A man in his 40s died Tuesday night after he jumped into a river trying to escape a drunk-driving crackdown. The 46-year-old man, who was identified only as Kang, was driving around midnight on the riverside road in Gyeongju, where police had set up a checkpoint for drunk drivers. Kang stopped his car about 100 m short of the checkpoint, ran away and jumped into the nearby Hyeongsan river. He was found dead the next morning. A police officer said, “Kang drove backward about 10 m and jumped into the river without even turning off the engine.”

Police and emergency rescue teams searched for Kang until 2:30 a.m., and finally found the dead body downstream the next morning. Police said Kang was driving without a license since he had been caught for drunk driving three times between 2002 and 2006 and his license was revoked.

The first thing I thought was "Darwin Awards nominee time", but at age 46 and a Korean man, mostly likely he's unfortunately left a wife and kids behind too.
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