Prosecution Seeks 2-Year Prison Sentence For Shinhwa's Shin Hye Sung For Drunk Driving

The prosecution has demanded a two-year prison sentence for Shinhwa’s Shin Hye Sung.

On April 6, Shinhwa’s Shin Hye Sung’s first hearing regarding his DUI case and illegal use of a vehicle was held at the Seoul Eastern District Court.

Previously on October 11, Shin Hye Sung was arrested for drunk driving and refusing to take a breathalyzer test when caught by police who were dispatched after receiving a citizen’s report of someone sleeping in a parked vehicle in the middle of the road. He was also investigated for driving a car that did not belong to him. After the police investigated him for suspicion of car theft, they found no evidence suggesting he had intended to steal the vehicle and charged him with illegal use of a vehicle instead.

At the hearing, the prosecution stated, “Shin Hye Sung has admitted that he used and drove another person’s vehicle without consent. During the time of his arrest, the police had asked him to take a breathalyzer test three times in total but Shin Hye Sung had refused to take them.”

Shin Hye Sung admitted to all charges in the trial but his lawyer pleaded for leniency by saying, “The defendant has suffered from panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and depression while working as a singer for 25 years. His symptoms have worsened since the beginning of 2021. After that, he never drank alcohol and has not received proper treatment because he was afraid that it will be known to the public. On the day of the incident, he met his acquaintances for the first time in a while and it was the first time he had a drink in years, which was why he blacked out and couldn’t think rationally. It is true that he was at fault, but it was unplanned and not because he habitually drinks and drives.”

His lawyer added, “While the defendant was drunk, he misunderstood the vehicle as his and drove it. He didn’t have the original intention to use another person’s vehicle without permission. We have also come to a mutual agreement with the owner of the vehicle, and the owner also said they did not want [Shin Hye Sung] to be punished.”

Finally, his lawyer concluded, “We also admit that he did not take the breathalyzer test. He was flustered at the sudden request after waking up from his sleep, so he refused to take the breathalyzer test. However, after he sobered up, he faithfully participated in the investigation. Of course, the defendant should not have driven under the influence in the first place, but I hope you consider the fact that he did not intend to do it from the beginning, that there is no physical damage, and that the risk of recurrence is low because the defendant is fully aware of his mistake.”

Shin Hye Sung then personally commented, “I’m sorry that I have disappointed and hurt many people when I should have always shown you only exemplary behavior. I won’t let this happen again. I’ll reflect on myself for the rest of my life. I’m sorry.”

The final sentence will be determined at the sentencing trial scheduled for April 20.

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