A drunk driver in a highly publicized fatal car crash that killed a young college student in a southern port city was sentenced to six years in prison on Wednesday.
The Busan District Court handed down the verdict to the 27-year-old defendant, identified by his last name Park, ruling that "the degree to which the crime has been committed is very grave and the result is as devastating."
Park was charged for hitting Yoon Chang-ho, a KATUSA conscript and Korea University student, with his vehicle while intoxicated at an intersection near the popular Haeundae Beach in Busan on Sept. 25 last year.
Yoon suffered severe head injuries and died in early November.
Prosecutors had demanded 10 years in prison for Park.
The innocent death of the young student stirred public uproar amid heated media coverage, prompting swift parliament moves toward bills to revise punishments for drunk drivers.
On Nov. 29, the National Assembly passed bills designed to increase the punishment to at least three years and up to life imprisonment in cases of driving under the influence, from current minimum jail terms of one year.
In the case of injury, offenders will face jail terms from one year to 15 years, while the current law stipulates imprisonment of up to 10 years with no minimum term.
Yoon Ki-hyun, the victim's father, expressed regret over Wednesday's ruling.
"I respect the court ruling of six years. But I also doubt that it's a punishment that has really measured up to public expectations," he told reporters after the court ruling. (Yonhap)