Comedian Lee Chang Myung Cleared of Drunk Driving

Matthew Kim, April 21, 2017, 10:28 a.m.

The Seoul Southern District Court on Thursday acquitted comedian Lee Chang-myung of leaving the scene of an accident after drunk driving last year, but fined him W5 million for violating traffic laws and as compensation.

Lee was booked in April of last year after slamming into a traffic light in his Porsche SUV and fleeing the scene. Police said he was drunk at the time with an estimated blood alcohol level of 0.16 percent -- enough to have his driver's license revoked.

He went into hiding for 20 hours but finally showed up at a police station, where he said he had to go to a hospital for medical care and denied driving under the influence.

The doctor who treated him said the comedian smelled of alcohol, and witnesses spotted Lee drinking in a restaurant prior to the accident and attempting to call a driver to take him home.

But the presiding judge said the charges were based on circumstantial evidence and found Lee not guilty.

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