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What Happened to Rose: Drunk Driving in Korea

May 27, 2015

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Leigh told us that there’s a saying in Korean, “mountain after mountain.” When you overcome one obstacle, there’s another one waiting for you. These past few weeks have been, without a doubt, some of the most challenging of our entire lives. In the last few days of April, Spudgy became very ill. We had to take him in for emergency surgery, and our vet told us that he had very little hope that Spudgy would pull through. We all said our goodbye’s to Spudgy and sobbed, but luckily he survived. Even the vet was surprised. A few days later, we were finally starting to feel better after Spudgy’s ordeal, and were out with our friends, including Rose, and celebrating the day after Martina’s birthday. That was the night that Rose was run over by a drunk driver.

I didn’t get into all of the details of what happened to Rose, but the images of what we saw that night aren’t something I want to describe in detail. You’d think that seeing shit like this in the news, or in movies, would desensitize you in a way, but it doesn’t prepare you for seeing it in front of you. It’s tough to even think about now. I actually thought Rose was going to die, and…fuck this is tough to write. Just…I’m glad that she didn’t. Glad we didn’t have to make that call to her family.

What’s so tough about this as well is that we were all together at the time. Martina and I were walking up ahead when Rose was hit. And if it wasn’t her, it could easily have been us. And Rose is a strong girl, healthy as hell, active all the time, still young and in her prime. If it had been Martina who isn’t healthy…I don’t think……I’m just glad this isn’t the last story I ever told.

We spent the next few days in and out of the hospital with Rose. The process was very challenging, because she has no next of kin here in Korea. We found her parents’ contact info via her Facebook and were able to contact them that way, only after the doctors said it was imperative that we do so. We contacted the Canadian Embassy as well because Rose is Canadian, and gave them all of the information we had. I had to act as her guardian before her father showed up, because I’m her employer, but thankfully I didn’t have to make any tough decisions. I just had to sign papers agreeing to testing.

You know, the night that we all went out, we first went to Itaewon. We had planned on playing board games and drinking. So you know what we did? We took a fucking taxi, that’s what. If you plan on drinking, take a taxi goddamnit. Or take a bus or subway or whatever. Or if you find yourself in a situation in which you are going to drink and haven’t planned on doing so, call a designated driver! It happened to us once. We went out for a meeting that we thought would be a couple of hours in the afternoon, but then we spent the day. When dinner and drinks was about to start, we got all of the information for a designated driver immediately. And he was a lovely man that smiled, and drove so carefully. SO CAREFULLY! You’ll know if you’ve been in a taxi in Seoul how crazy they drive and how they make you carsick even if you’ve had nothing to drink. This guy drove smoothly, calmly. No swerving. No speeding. When he parked our car in our parking lot we paid him and he smiled and left and impressed the hell out of us. I want to call him to drive me home even if I don’t drink! So please, be responsible.

I’m sorry that it’s only me in this video. Martina isn’t comfortable talking about this yet. She was hit by a drunk driver back in high school, and it broke her neck. Her injuries from half a lifetime ago still affect her today, so the topic is a bit tough for her. She’s focusing instead on editing a happy video we’re putting up tomorrow, from our time in Jeju. And that’s what we’re going to try to do from now on. Just like in Martina’s EDS video, we don’t want to focus on painful memories and moments; us making fun videos helps keep us happy. I really needed to talk about this and to try to get this behind me. And hearing Martina edit tomorrow’s video in the background is helping me through this post as well.

Ah fuck. I can’t write any more about it. It happened. It’s shitty. It could have been a lot worse. Rose is going to get through this. We’re all going to get through this. Thank you for being understanding. Now let’s get back to happy smily videos tomorrow, yeah?

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What Happened to Rose: Drunk Driving in Korea

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  1. I’m really glad that Rose is doing okay so far and I’m really sorry that you guys had to go through that. When you were talking about the numbers and how some of them weren’t even represented because some people didn’t involve the police, that BLEW my mind. WHY?! That would be the first thing I do (unless someone was injured, it would be the ambulance first, but here where I live the police/ambulance/fire truck come at the same time). So, I’m glad you all did involve the police.
    I was in a car accident that involved someone under the influence hitting me back in November, and the guy is not due in court until JULY. Do you know how crazy that is?
    People just have no common sense when it comes to drinking or drugs or even texting while driving. It’s like you said, if you know you’re going to be out drinking, be responsible and have someone drive you. It’s not that hard! Things like this make me so mad because people don’t care if they’re endangering others.
    I’m REALLY glad that you guys were there for Rose and that she is doing okay.

    4 years ago
  2. OMG I can believe that happene.Is she OK? HOW is she doing? I hope she makes a full recover.

    4 years ago
  3. I’m really glad to see that Rose has been recovering so well. She was attending SHINee concerts and working back at the studio within two weeks of the accident! Her passion for dance and fitness surely must’ve played a part in her quick recovery.

    A lot of things have to change in order for drunk diving to stop and these changes have to stem from the cultural and legislative level, not necessarily the judicial level. Right after the announcement of Rose’s accident, I read a lot of anger and vitriol being directed towards the drunk driver. Commenters were wondering how he could be so stupid and demanding severe punishment for his actions, even lifetime imprisonment.

    While this type of sentiment was understandable so soon after the incident, I hope people understand that this line of thinking won’t solve the problem in the long run and that, in a lot of ways, the drunk driver himself was a victim of his circumstances. Lack of education, suffocating cultural norms and lack of preventive infrastructure were the primary causes of this unfortunate accident, not malice or brazen stupidity. Harsher penalties do need to be implemented in order to disincentivize the practice of drunk driving but the bulk of the focus needs to be placed on prevention as opposed to punishment. Knowing how traumatic this must’ve been for them, I’m really appreciative of how tempered and even-keeled Simon and Martina’s approach was for this video and topic.

    I do think there is a larger societal problem here that many people seem to overlook: alcohol, itself. It’s culturally acceptable throughout most of the world to tolerate and even celebrate alcohol consumption but I view it as an archaic, illogical tradition that needs to replaced by superior alternatives. If looked at purely from a pro-versus-con standpoint, it’s quite clear alcohol does far more harm than good to society, but I understand this point isn’t enough to nullify such a firmly-entrenched cultural practice. So we have to take into account alcohol’s uses as a relaxant, mind-altering substance and ritualistic bonding mechanism; however, if we were to rank alcohol on a list based on these criteria, it’d be clear to see that there are many better alternatives out there. And one of them (and arguably the best one) happens to be illegal in most parts of the world: marijuana.

    I read a while back about the differences between “alcohol societies” and “marijuana societies”, and how societies whose drug of choice was the former tended to be unhappy, violent, conservative and unimaginative while the latter tended to be more happy, peaceful, liberal and creative. It does make sense. While they both serve as sedatives, alcohol dulls the intellect/senses and damages human health while marijuana sparks the intellect/senses and actually restores human health. And relevant to the topic at hand, people under the influence of marijuana actually report to be BETTER drivers due to factors such as increased focus and/or paranoia.

    Why do Koreans (and most heavy drinkers) drink so much? Because they’re stressed, unhappy, view alcohol as part of a communal bonding ritual and don’t see better alternatives. The introduction of marijuana would break alcohol’s monopoly on society and start edging it out to the benefit of everyone other than breweries and drug enforcement bureaucracies. Instead of blindly aping the United States’ policies, I wish the South Korean government as well as many others around the world would re-examine the topic of marijuana prohibition and drug enforcement in general from a logical, utilitarian point of view. If only they understood the real purpose of prohibition in the first place…

    4 years ago
    • That’s a great suggestion, but marijuana is so taboo here that breaking it will be very challenging. Especially considering how powerful and omnipresent alcohol companies are here in Korea, they won’t let marijuana ever be legalized, I don’t think. If furniture shops lobbied against Ikea, I’m guessing soju companies will spend a lot of money to keep marijuana out of Korea.

      4 years ago
    • People who drive while under the influence of marijuana are still under the influence. They are not at full capacity, and are not better than the driver who is not drunk or high. You. Are. Impaired. while you are taking ANY drug including marijuana. You make it seem like it’s totally fine, when in reality it’s not.
      This video shows what happens, the relevant testing is at 7:50ish http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiBvFZFrTCQ
      It’s only one of many examples in a controlled environment, and it scares me to think that people actually drive while stoned.

      I’m all for making marijuana legal, but there’s something else you didn’t consider – secondhand smoke. That’s why they’re so strict about tobacco smoking now. Secondhand smoke is absolutely a danger when it comes to marijuana. I myself have been around it multiple times, and the effects are the same. Migraines, nausea, and just enough of feeling impaired that I would not drive in that state, not that I could with a migraine anyway.

      Marijuana does not affect all people in the same ways, and your comment doesn’t show me that you’re even aware of that fact. You also don’t seem to be aware that the mere act of smoking anything is bad for your body – your lungs, teeth, lips, and likely other places. You could easily burn yourself, inhaling smoke damages the lungs, it’s bad for your teeth, and then there are all the effects on other parts of your body, especially your brain. “Marijuana sparks the intellect…(and) restores human health”? That’s not even true, at all. People clearly do stupid things while they’re high on any drug, there are hundreds of examples and I’m sure you’ve done stupid things you would have never done sober. That is not any spark of intellect at all, it’s exactly the opposite. It’s only good health purpose is helping those who get the pain relief from it that it can give, and that is not all people on this planet. The research into the possible health effects of THC and other PARTS of marijuana ( not the entire thing! ) is still ongoing but very positive. It still doesn’t mean it’s a good thing to use it. It does affect others negatively. The biggest and worst thing I felt from actually partaking in it ( not just secondhand ) was an overwhelming urge to kill myself. How is that restoring my health if I want to end my life? I didn’t even have any feelings like that prior to taking it, and I was not depressed. You even stated that people who take it become paranoid ( a small portion of people, but still a relevant statistic ), and that is never a good thing.

      Any person who is an advocate of a drug should be aware of all the good AND the bad that comes with it. There’s always a bad part, and being ignorant of it is only detrimental to the cause. It seems you need a reality check, and I hope this has done so.

      4 years ago
      • It’s unfortunate that you have it stuck in your mind that I’m a “typical stoner”. Again, I don’t smoke or take any drugs due to personal convictions but I do see the merits of marijuana intake, especially therapeutically, along with nootropics and entheogens, just like I can see the merits of pescetarianism without actually being a pescetarian. I don’t believe I’m “mindlessly” advocating for marijuana anywhere more than you are, since we both agree on the main points which are marijuana legalization and the existence of both pros and cons to its use.

        The point which I referred to as “untrue and baseless” was the one in which you said “You. Are. Impaired. while you are taking ANY drug”. Emphasis on the “any”. Considering there are drugs that are specifically manufactured to improve cognitive function, it would stand to reason that your statement was erroneous. And yes, marijuana can negatively affect cognitive function in some people. My point, as was yours, was that it can affect people in different ways and there are countless conflicting studies out there that showcase this phenomenon. I’ve encountered many stories of people who’ve improved their real-world performance through the use of marijuana, and if we are to count chronically ill medical patients in this category, then the amount of evidence would prove irrefutable.

        In regards to the video you posted, it showcases many things, primarily that marijuana slows down reaction time and can negatively affect short-term memory. The issue with this controlled environment is that it does not correlate strongly with real world situations. For example, one of the reasons why I stated that SOME people may be “better” at driving while under the influence of marijuana is because they tend to slow down in order to compensate for their impaired reaction time and be extra cautious and observant of traffic rules. Perhaps “more cautious” would’ve been a more accurate descriptor than “better”.

        In the video, the subjects are instructed to drive over 80mph on a virtual freeway with erratic traffic, icy roads and planned hazards, which are strongly atypical of normal driving situations. Additionally, the individuals had to learn a whole new driving environment, a learning process which would’ve been hampered by the marijuana intake, while in the real world they would’ve been in the front seat of a familiar car driving on familiar roads. Now, I’m not trying to excuse driving while under the influence of marijuana at all; it would be best if everyone always drove while 100% sober. My point was that this were to happen, the chances of tragic traffic accidents should prove significantly lower than if under the influence of alcohol, and statistics tend to back this assumption up.

        Lastly, you’re absolutely right that secondhand smoke is a negative side effect that alcohol doesn’t provide, but it can then argued that an astronomical number of automobile fatalities are a side effect that marijuana doesn’t provide. Again, the question I asked was whether or not the OVERALL negative effects of marijuana were preferable to the overall negative effects of alcohol, not whether or not negative effects actually exist, a point which I wholehearted agree with you on. I understand this may be an emotional topic for you so I apologize if I somehow came off as insensitive or argumentative. In the end, I believe this entire debate was born of a misunderstanding. I wish you well and hope you recover from your medical issues.

        4 years ago
      • I’m sorry, it appears you may’ve mistaken my support for marijuana legalization as blind evangelization in its favor. Just to clarify, I don’t even smoke marijuana currently and haven’t done so in years; I don’t have a vested interest in legalization other than the theoretical social benefits. The purpose of the second half of my post was to illuminate the many advantages of marijuana IN COMPARISON to alcohol and how it’d be preferable for marijuana use to displace alcohol use, not to sing the praises of it as a perfect panacea. There is no perfect solution to society’s problems, only better ones.

        I’m fully aware of the fact that different people will react to marijuana in different ways and that side effects including deleterious health effects exist. Just looking at the average burnt-out stoner can show you that. My line about certain people driving “better” under the influence of marijuana was based on anecdotal evidence from specific individuals and was not meant to be a sweeping generalization asserting that all people drive better while high. As you stated, people are not affected in the same ways. Some people may feel impaired while driving under the influence of marijuana, but the critical question to ask here (and the crux of my point) is, is there any evidence to show that driving while high is AS dangerous as driving while drunk?

        And if prohibition doesn’t work, as history has shown, and citizens are inevitably going to wind up partaking in a mind-altering substance, which is preferable: alcohol or marijuana?

        As you make assertions about the invalidity of marijuana as a cognitive and health aid, it’s important to once again note your own quote: “Marijuana does not affect all people in the same ways”. It’s understandable that you associate marijuana with negative connotations because of your own PERSONAL experience, but it’s not everyone’s experience. You reported suicidal thoughts while under the influence, while I experienced bliss, relaxation and an abundance of stimulating and creative thoughts which helped shape some of my ways of thinking for years to come. And I’m not the only one. In fact, most people report similar experiences to mine.

        That is not to discount people who do experience negative effects. (It’s important to note here that there are many different strains of marijuana with varying properties.) Some people feel reinvigorated after smoking, others feel lazy and sluggish. Some people get the munchies, others get psychosis. This is an unavoidable reality. But again, the bottom line here is this: are the overall negative side effects of marijuana preferable to the overall negative side effects of alcohol? I believe so, and based on the evidence, I don’t think there is a single person who can argue against that point.

        4 years ago
        • You sound like the typical stoner who doesn’t want people to think they’re a stoner, but still glorify drugs anyway. You said you don’t take any drugs at all, but you’re still mindlessly advocating for it. As someone who has to take narcotics to handle monthly pain ( yes, that kind ) and other painful medical issues, and has several medical professionals in my family, I’m well-informed about many types of drugs and their effects.
          “Untrue and baseless”? No, it’s proven – alcohol, marijuana, coke, opiates, etc, all affect you, whether you think they do or not. It’s dangerous to drive while on most substances, but your “point” mostly concerned marijuana, which absolutely does affect people. The negatives of marijuana are numerous, as are the negatives of alcohol, but someone else drinking alcohol near me doesn’t get me drunk. That in itself is a large positive over alcohol. “I don’t think there is a single person who can argue against that point.”? I just did. There are ridiculous numbers of studies and statistics that prove these things, but clearly you are convinced you’re right and that’s that. I’m done here, I can’t discuss anything with an ignorant narcissist.

          4 years ago
        • A couple of quick points I forgot to mention:

          There are numerous ways to partake in marijuana without smoking it, including oral, tincture and vapor methods. And like with cigarettes and any other controlled substance, laws would be implemented to ensure any secondhand smoke intake would be minimized.

          And your opening point on how all drugs impair performance and cognitive function: this is unequivocally untrue and baseless. I’d invite you to do some research on nootropics and open your mind to a world outside of traditional recreational drugs. Personally, I don’t take ANY drugs, including caffeine and aspirin, but I find the topic fascinating and I’ve reversed my harsh anti-drug stance I had for many years due to the information I’ve come across on marijuana, entheogens and smart drugs.

          4 years ago
  4. I’m was so sorry to hear about Rose but I’m thrilled that she’s okay!
    In the US we quickly take away a drunk drivers license but jail times are kind of pathetic. You can kill someone and only spend a year in jail in some states.

    My father hit and killed a 17 year old girl back in the 90’s while he was drunk. I don’t have too many details because I was so young at the time and I haven’t spoken to or about him for a long time but basically he pulled a sob story out about how it was all my mom’s fault because she took me and left and that drove him to drink. He had a sympathetic judge and so he only did 2 years (the minimum in his state).

    The girl’s family did sue but they only got like $25,000 from his insurance and because he refused to work they couldn’t get anymore out of him. From my understanding the money they got didn’t even come close to covering the medical bills (she was hospitalized for a quite a while before passing and had no medical insurance so the bills were probably more than $100,000)

    I feel so awful for the family and absolutely disgusted that this man is my father, I know it’s silly because I was only 3 when it happened but I still feel really guilty about the whole situation.
    I personally don’t drink and I don’t let any of my friends drive drunk, hell, I’ve butted my way into strangers’ conversations to say “hey bro, you’re way too frakking drunk to drive, lemme call you a cab.”
    I have zero shame when it comes to drunk people.
    I figure if I can’t do anything for the girl, and I can’t do anything for her family, I should at least do everything in my power to make sure it doesn’t happen to someone else.

    4 years ago
  5. In Scotland the drink driving limit was recently reduced from 80mg to 50mg per 100ml of blood. As a result of this I know a lot of people who would previously have maybe a pint and still drive home who now refuse to drive if they’ve had anything to drink at all because it’s so easy to be over the limit now. The rest of the UK doesn’t have this yet but from talking to other Scots I feel like the law has made a big difference in people’s attitudes toward drink driving.

    I really hope you’re all feeling okay and that Rose has a quick and easy recovery. <3

    4 years ago
  6. I used to be an English teacher in Daegu. I was walking down an alley one night and got hit by a delivery guy on a scooter right in the middle of my back. I ended up with a herniated disc which took several months to fix. All I can say is thank goodness for the cheap medical care in Korea compared to the USA.

    4 years ago
    • Those electric scooters are the worst. You can’t hear them and they just zoom right past you. In Shanghai they are everywhere.

      4 years ago
    • Scooter drivers are terrifying as well. They’re so reckless when they drive, and so unprotected as well. I just don’t understand how they don’t drive with the fear of God in them, especially in Seoul.

      4 years ago
      • I love my scooter back here in Virginia, but you couldn’t pay me enough money to drive one in Korea. I actually witnessed an accident where a guy on a scooter was hit so hard by a taxi that it literally cut the scooter in half. The worst part is that so many of those side streets have cars parked on both sides of the road, so both people and scooters have to share the same narrow space in between (that’s how I got hit).

        4 years ago
  7. I think you’re right about the respect hierarchy in Korea. It’s a problem when a younger person can’t be the voice of reason in dangerous scenarios. I am so glad to hear Rose will survive this ordeal. It’s really scary that you and Martina had to witness such graphic violence first-hand. I know that Koreans hate to be thought of in a negative light so I think posting this video should bring awareness to this problem. It’s embarrassing those stats on drunk driving incidents and they should be motivated to campaign against it. I’m from the US and we have pretty strict standards against drunk driving and I can’t speak for all States but in Washington the first offense you go to jail immediately from 24 hours to 1 year, license *immediately* suspended 90 days-1 year with a fine up to $5,000 and the implications for 2nd and 3rd offense amplify those punishments. http://dui.drivinglaws.org/washington.php

    4 years ago
  8. Shout out to designated drivers! *high five* DD’s are part bodyguard, part superhero — not only protecting the loved one who is imbibing, but those who would potentially become victims of drunk-driving (pedestrians, fellow drivers, beautiful cars, perfectly lovely trees and landscaping, buildings, etc…and by extension, family/friends of the victim, owners of property that is damaged, etc…Like Simon said, get a flippin’ taxi!).

    When I was in college, there was a perception that the designated driver misses out on the fun. My friends would always apologize to me that I “had to be” the designated driver when they wanted to go to a bar. [I don’t drink much, if at all b/c alcohol will usually trigger a migraine, if not a full-blown illness in my due to vasomotor rhinitis.] I used to laugh because from my perspective, I had the best seat in the house. I got free sodas from the bar, didn’t get flagged in embarrassing photos, didn’t drunk-text anyone, didn’t puke my guts or wake up feeling sick, and was the only one who had a clear memory for friendly teasing later. I still got to sing silly songs, dorky-dance, and chit-chat with my friends…and the next day, when others were recovering, I was out, doing lunch and a matinee with another set of friends. I also got a lot more studying done because my brain didn’t hate me. ^_^

    On a related note, about calling friends: even if it’s embarrassing, if you need to, do it! One of my girlfriends woke me at four AM in the morning, to come please pick her up. I was surprised because she never drank, but had too much after a combined birthday and graduate school graduation celebration gone wild. She was really panicked (drunk in an unfamiliar part of town, in the downtown area of a big city) but mostly embarrassed that I “had to” come get her up. She kept apologizing, worried that I would hate her or something (I think she thought I’d judge her or something). You know what I was really thinking? I was so proud of her that she humbled herself enough to call! I knew it was an embarrassing thing, especially for someone who didn’t normally drink at all! I was also so grateful and humbled that she felt that I was a trustworthy friend to call at four in the morning (our bones aren’t so young any more)! I was so beyond annoyance or anger. I was too busy feeling utter and complete relief that she gave me a call and that she was now safe!!! All kinds of horrible things could have happened, especially if she got behind that wheel. I share this story so you will please remember this if you ever need to call a friend. Even if you are old and married, have work the next day, are a respectable member of the community, are supposed to be a responsible child/parent/sister/whatever, blah blah. Better to be embarrassed/annoyed over a call than devastated by some horrible thing that might happen to you and/or others for getting behind the wheel.

    P.S. I’ve heard some people say things like “I can’t afford a taxi” — If you can’t afford a taxi, you can’t afford to drink out in the first place (it’s a package deal!) and you definitely can’t afford to pay for all of the consequences that might follow (the pain you might cause, medical and legal expenses, etc).. Besides, you don’t have to drive so far away to have your drink. Stay home, have a sleepover with good friends, watch a movie instead, etc… Or drink earlier in the day and take it easy until it’s well out of your system, etc…

    4 years ago
  9. There are a few comments covering the laws in the US, so instead I’d just like to say thank you for making this video, Simon, since I know it was very difficult for you.

    4 years ago
  10. What is “oacd”?

    4 years ago
  11. First of all, I’m truly sorry for what happened to Rose.
    I’m not sure if you’ll even be able to read this comment, but I REALLY have to get this off my chest. As a Korean, I may be overly sensitive to this matter of culturalism and a foreigner’s perspective of trying to make sense of a culture. I guess this just makes my blood boil because it reminds me of Malcolm Gladwell and the Asiana crash a few years ago.
    Here are my two cents: the end of the video where you point out the Korean culture of respecting one’s elders was completely unnecessary and did nothing more than make a sweeping generalization and argue that Koreans would not question their friends’ (stupid) decisions if they are older than them. These people who let their friends drive while drunk are simply put, stupid. Stupid because they lack common sense. This is NOT because of Korean culture.
    Seeing this attitude from a respected channel about Korean culture (for lack of a better word to describe what you do) is so disappointing. Generalizing an entire culture in such a way (you did not even elaborate whether the driver’s friends were, in fact, younger than him) was not something I expected from you, Simon.

    4 years ago
    • The reason we brought up the culture of respecting elders is because we’ve seen too many people be pressured into doing things they don’t want to do because of “respecting” someone.

      When we were both teachers, we saw our fellow teachers drink and drink and drink until the point of passing out because they couldn’t say NO to the principal or someone older than them when they were pouring drinks. It got to the point that one of my fellow teachers suddenly “found religion” in order to quit the pressure of drinking. They weren’t religious at all, but that was the only excuse the principle would accept. I heard my Korean born and raised friend complain that their husband was never home because they HAD TO go out drinking due to 회식 with the boss or else they wouldn’t get the position they wanted in the future. One of the male teachers at my school died because he drank so much he fell down a mountain and drowned in the river below DURING OUR TEACHER OUTING because no one stopped him from drinking when he was clearly drunk. We had to comb the river bed looking for him.

      This idea of “respect” for your elders in this particular situation is what we’re talking about. It is very hard for someone who is 25 to tell their 40+ boss “NO MORE” without getting in trouble. We love many aspects about Korean culture but this is not one of them. I hope you can understand what we mean a bit better now. -Martina

      4 years ago
      • While I am incredibly sorry for what happened to Rose, I felt that the way eatyourkimchi decided to approach this topic was unprofessional and bias.

        What was unclear or not mentioned:
        Was everyone on the sidewalk when this happened?
        Or were you walking in the car lanes?
        Why was Rose behind? was she looking at her phone?
        Were any of YOU intoxicated when the incident happened?
        Was the car coming out a parking lot that was indoor/outdoor? or a parking space of a restaurant/bar?
        If it’s indoor or valet parking, where were the valet or the employees of the parking facility?
        Is it confirmed that the two people you saw were friends? were they also intoxicated?
        There also seems to be more information disclosed about the drunk driver than the eatyourkimchi crew.

        I understand that the drunk driving or Driving Under the Influence issue is an extremely sensitive topic for the eatyourkimchi family and anyone else who knows someone close to them who has been in accident because someone DUI hit them. For that reason, I felt that the extra information that Simon gave (and in this blog post) on Rose’s accident (aside from her being hit by a drunk driver) was bias and unnecessary. A lot of the extra details that were included in the video and blog (hopefully meant to stress this issue of DUI and the lack of PSA and campaigning for prevention against future accidents) was ambiguous. The overall tone and content is (obviously) emotionally driven and aggressive towards the driver (and South Korea). I also realize that this is a sensitive topic to give more specific information about an accident that happened to someone so close to you. And I assume that extra information is also guarded by the legal system, which may or may not prohibit you from sharing anything else to your viewers. And because either of these may be the case, I feel like including any information aside from Rose being hit by a drunk driver is bias and misleading. And the little details you did provide about the case only further implicates the driver and “friends” he were with and as a witness of the accident, your perspective is bias. This video/blog post is an unprofessional and bias rant on a topic that is extremely sensitive to each particular case.

        I think what would have made the video/blog post more productive is leaving the details of Rose’s accident out and focusing on ways to prevent this from happening from someone else (such as the phone number and website that Simon provided). Maybe provide some research on amount of advertisements made for different types of alcohol (commercials, posters, promotions etc.) in Korea versus the amount of PSAs or campaigns done to prevent or combat DUI. Or maybe interview people young or old in places like Hongdae with a big nightlife scene and see if they know any facts or statistics about drunk driving in Korea. Or find out what their opinion are on the drunk driving laws/sentences in South Korea.

        4 years ago
        • jesus. I know this is an old thread, but this is some HORRIFIC victim blaming. This is the sort of sick logic that seems common amongst the S&M haters.

          2 years ago
        • “Was everyone on the sidewalk when this happened?
          Or were you walking in the car lanes?
          Why was Rose behind? was she looking at her phone?
          Were any of YOU intoxicated when the incident happened?
          Was the car coming out a parking lot that was indoor/outdoor? or a parking space of a restaurant/bar?
          If it’s indoor or valet parking, where were the valet or the employees of the parking facility?
          Is it confirmed that the two people you saw were friends? were they also intoxicated?
          There also seems to be more information disclosed about the drunk driver than the eatyourkimchi crew. ”

          Please Google and familiarize yourself with the term ‘Victim Blaming’. Because every. single. point. above is nothing more than trying to take the blame away from where it belongs: ON THE DRIVER OF THE CAR.

          4 years ago
        • ” What was unclear or not mentioned:
          Was everyone on the sidewalk when this happened?
          Or were you walking in the car lanes?
          Why was Rose behind? was she looking at her phone?
          Were any of YOU intoxicated when the incident happened?
          Was the car coming out a parking lot that was indoor/outdoor? or a parking space of a restaurant/bar?
          If it’s indoor or valet parking, where were the valet or the employees of the parking facility?
          Is it confirmed that the two people you saw were friends? were they also intoxicated?
          There also seems to be more information disclosed about the drunk driver than the eatyourkimchi crew. ”

          What a nonsense! It doesn’t matter whether a pedestrian is drunk or not, or whether he/she is texting someone or listening to music, dancing, standing on his/her head… What matters is that it didn’t occur to a guy, who was completely drunk, that his thoughtless decision could cost him somebody’s life! Think first and then do.

          4 years ago
        • While I am incredibly sorry for what happened to Rose, I felt that the way eatyourkimchi decided to approach this topic was unprofessional and bias.

          What was unclear or not mentioned:
          Was everyone on the sidewalk when this happened?
          Or were you walking in the car lanes?
          Why was Rose behind? was she looking at her phone?
          Were any of YOU intoxicated when the incident happened?
          Was the car coming out a parking lot that was indoor/outdoor? or a parking space of a restaurant/bar?
          If it’s indoor or valet parking, where were the valet or the employees of the parking facility?
          Is it confirmed that the two people you saw were friends? were they also intoxicated?
          There also seems to be more information disclosed about the drunk driver than the eatyourkimchi crew.

          I understand that the drunk driving or Driving Under the Influence issue is an extremely sensitive topic for the eatyourkimchi family and anyone else who knows someone close to them who has been in accident because someone DUI hit them. For that reason, I felt that the extra information that Simon gave (and in this blog post) on Rose’s accident (aside from her being hit by a drunk driver) was bias and unnecessary. A lot of the extra details that were included in the video and blog (hopefully meant to stress this issue of DUI and the lack of PSA and campaigning for prevention against future accidents) was ambiguous. The overall tone and content is (obviously) emotionally driven and aggressive towards the driver (and South Korea). I also realize that this is a sensitive topic to give more specific information about an accident that happened to someone so close to you. And I assume that extra information is also guarded by the legal system, which may or may not prohibit you from sharing anything else to your viewers. And because either of these may be the case, I feel like including any information aside from Rose being hit by a drunk driver is bias and misleading. And the little details you did provide about the case only further implicates the driver and “friends” he were with and as a witness of the accident, your perspective is bias. This video/blog post is an unprofessional and bias rant on a topic that is extremely sensitive to each particular case.

          I think what would have made the video/blog post more productive is leaving the details of Rose’s accident out and focusing on ways to prevent this from happening from someone else (such as the phone number and website that Simon provided). Maybe provide some research on amount of advertisements made for different types of alcohol (commercials, posters, promotions etc.) in Korea versus the amount of PSAs or campaigns done to prevent or combat DUI. Or maybe interview people young or old in places like Hongdae with a big nightlife scene and see if they know any facts or statistics about drunk driving in Korea. Or find out what their opinion are on the drunk driving laws/sentences in South Korea.

          TO: Abby
          Given that both the perpetrator and victim are still alive, is a verdict ever made without listening to both sides?
          No.
          So how are you able to disregard one side completely?
          Saying “probably” , “doubt”, “for the sake of curiosity, let’s say” only reaffirms my argument that there is a lack of information being provided and assumptions being made.

          4 years ago
        • Most of the information you listed is irrelevant. The second that driver got behind the wheel when he was intoxicated (quite heavily, I might add), he was breaking the law. The victim shouldn’t be blamed for the crime. Even if the victims had been under the influence, the car had been coming out of a parking area, or the crew was crossing the street, it’s not important. A sober driver would have had the capacity to be more alert and therefore avoided an incident in these cases. I’d say they might be moderately culpable if they burst out onto the street, but given the context of Simon and Martina preceding Rose and the fact that they probably weren’t sprinting out of nowhere, I doubt that’s the case. For the sake of curiosity, let’s say they did burst into the street: the man is still at fault because he got behind the wheel when he was past the legal limit. To me, the “unclear details” you’ve listed off implies the pedestrian is at fault despite the driver having clearly committed an offense upon stepping into the vehicle. This is the equivalent of blaming the victim of a rape for being violated because the “outfit was provocative,” so “he/she was asking for it.” Personally, as I’m sure you are aware of by now, I don’t agree with this sentiment in the slightest.

          Secondly, EatYourKimchi is not meant to be “professional” in the sense that you seem to be referring to. They have built their channel around connecting to the viewers. They didn’t do this by hiding their opinions on everything. They’ve done this by being open, funny, informative, and authentic. They are allowed to be “bias” because they are people, too. They couldn’t leave Rose out of this video because the Nasties have been concerned.

          Finally, Simon was talking about problems he had noticed first hand. Isn’t that what TL;DR’s are usually about? Discussing topics using first hand and/or second hand experiences (for times when they haven’t experienced requested topics, like dating in Korea). In regards to how to prevent future incidents, he wasn’t ambiguous at all. If you’re drunk, don’t drive. He said that many times and gave resources to aid in unexpected situations.

          I think the situation was dealt with well on the part if the EatYourKimchi crew. They don’t need to explain anything more to us. They just need to focus on Rose’s recovery and happier things after this dark event.

          4 years ago
      • (HI MARTINA <3)
        And this is relevant to the video how? You talk about 회식문화 and the pressure of drinking in the work setting (which comes with A LOT of underlying issues – 승진, the problematic method of 'community-buliding', etc., that you've also mentioned). These 40+ people, being the adults that they are, would use taxis or 대리운전 services – their 25 year old new recruit would actually make it his responsibility to get them home safe, what with the respect and all.
        What I believe you were referring to in the video were a couple of young idiots being drunk and stupid (I'm not going to pretend that I know more about the situation than you do, but that was the scenario being painted in the video, with the place in question being Hongdae). And in such a scenario, the respecting one's elders would NOT, as I've stated, come into play. They were just being stupid.
        I'm not saying that there are obvious issues arising from this somewhat mandatory respect that we are supposed to have for our elders – or that I agree with it, because I don't. But you are overreaching since it's not relevant to this particular scenario. And if it is, you haven't elaborated on it enough, and thus have only made a sweeping statement.

        4 years ago
        • Every country has it’s issues. No country is perfect because we are all human. That doesn’t mean that S. Korea or any other country else is inherently bad, it just means there are issues that need to be worked on. I can say the same thing for my country. One example: in my country, America, the education climate and cost is an issue that needs to be worked on. I still love my country, but I can still be critical of problems and not feel that it is the only thing that represents where I live. The bad always comes with the good, but it is HOW we address the bad is what makes us who we are.

          4 years ago
        • It is relevant, unfortunately. It’s understandable that you would feel defensive or upset because a integral piece of your culture is being questioned, but every culture has it’s faults. You say that these people were just stupid and that the situations described by Simon and Martina are not relevant to what happened to Rose. You’re saying that because the situations described involved older men, they must know to arrange a safe way of getting home or take proper precautions. However, knowing something is true and being wise enough to follow through with that knowledge are two different things. Not to mention, in these situations, the ones who are supposed to be responsible are often under the influence of alcohol, meaning their judgement is impaired.

          Since I feel like reasoning with you on this subject in this context will not be successful (as many good points were already presented and you found them irrelevant), let me present to you the case of Korean Air. This airline experienced many accidents between 1970 and 1999. In this span of time, 16 series incidents were recorded and 700 lives were lost. The airline had lost respect and faith of various interested parties and was in danger of going under if it could not fix this safety issue. They brought in an “outsider’s eye,” a man well-versed in the industry to help them see what was causing the problems. The “black box” recordings were reviewed and the unifying detail amongst all of the accidents was a communication failure between the pilot and co-pilot. The co-pilot would often attempt to suggest something to the pilot when he/she felt like a situation could become dangerous, but the language and culture resulted in the attempts to portray the warning failing because urgency was traded for respect. The co-pilots would try to respectfully hint at a problem, but often the meaning was lost on the pilot or the pilot would brush it off and the co-pilot would remain silent. The first thing that Korea Air did was switch the language of the cockpits to English. All pilots and co-pilots were required to speak English. Programs were set up to teach existing employees English as well. This wasn’t an attempt to “westernize” the airline, or make it easier to sing along to Beyonce songs during the trip. The switch was made because the English language is much less hierarchal than the Korean language, so it is significantly easier to confront a figure deemed superior in position or age. Warnings became more direct, and the power difference in the cockpit decreased dramatically. Korea Air’s biggest incident since this switch was the peanut fiasco that the daughter of the chairman caused.

          The fact is that the Korean language, by nature, makes it difficult to directly disagree with a respected figure (whether that’s an older friend or a boss, it still applies). This is why it caused problems in Korea Air. This is why it was linked to the incidents Martina listed off. This is why It is perfectly logical to see how it could be linked to tragedies like that of Rose.

          It’s okay to love your culture, language, and country. But you must also be able to see that it, like everything else, has flaws. Being aware of these problems makes you more able to avoid falling victim to one of the issues yourself.

          4 years ago
        • @entling – I can’t directly reply to your comment :/
          This relationship between the friends the car were insinuated, but not directly said nor further elaborated. This was EXACTLY my problem – if this was indeed the case, you can’t just say these things without going into detail, because red flags start waving all over the place. I understand that this was an emotional issue to talk about but I really did expect more from them since they are usually so politically correct (for lack of a better term) and careful with these things.

          4 years ago
        • Simon did mention that it seemed that these ‘friends’ of the drunk driver were letting him drive because he was their 형. Which means some sort of culturally-rooted power play may have taken place. Yes, they were stupid. But their stupidity might have been fueled by the older guy using his age to convince his friends (and I’m sure very little convincing was needed, what with all the drinking going on) that he would be okay driving. If that was the case, it was the Korean cultural norm of older people getting away with things because of their seniority that tipped the scales (which were, admittedly, heavily weighed down by utter, abhorring stupidity to begin with).

          I do understand your outrage against generalizations (I’m Korean, too, and I would never let my friends drive drunk), but I wanted to point out that this topic isn’t entirely uncalled for in this video.

          4 years ago
  12. Just by seeing Simon in this video I can tell how much it affected you guys. And now after watching this video I feel effected by it! I know somebody in Canada that drove home with a G2 license and an alcohol level below .08 and they got their license revoked. It’s nerve racking that this drunk driver hasn’t been penalized yet.

    4 years ago
  13. I drive in Korea. I work at several travel schools in the countryside so it’s just easier. I don’t have a problem occasionally taking a bus to school if I’m told there’s going to be a teacher’s dinner/party with drinking. I enjoy drinking with the teachers and most are impressed that I enjoy soju and makgeolli.

    At my Wednesday school we’ll often play volleyball in the afternoon with snacks and drinks provided. If I drive my car to school I DO NOT drink period. My principal knows I drive. He’s impressed that I drive in Korea and waves at me as I park my car in the morning. This same principal has tried to pour soju into my orange juice at volleyball games. He has done this when I’ve gotten up and left my cup behind for a moment (my co-teacher warned me and I could smell the soju ) and he’s tried to do it while I was holding my cup.

    His English is pretty good. I’ve told him I don’t drink and drive. His response was that there are no cops on the country roads so I won’t get caught.

    It’s not getting caught that I care about, it’s potentially hurting myself or someone else! This is something he can’t seem to grasp.

    4 years ago
    • That really sucks, I feel for you. Sad to say though, it’s likely not about “not getting the risk” but about wanting everyone to be as drunk as him or having an excuse to drink himself or even worse, trying to make an opportunity to be patronizing to you. If you don’t drink, you will be seen as “morally superior” to him if he does and you don’t, it’s also a blow to his image if you refuse him anything. In a culture of “respect”, there can often be a culture of “levelling the playing field” because a person with no exploitable flaws or embarrassing mistakes will have to be taken down a peg to be at the same level or lower than their superiors so that the superiors can appear/feel superior and maintain their status. It’s awful but it doesn’t happen only in the movies. Every “business” meeting I’ve had with asians where alcohol is served, someone has tried to shame me into drinking or drinking more under the guise of being “friendly”, like it’s a game of how far can they push me, regardless of the consequences. Certainly, not that all asians are the same, but some days, it feels like all asian businessmen are.

      Here’s a couple of tricks to help you out: Keep a mickey of water in your purse but label it as vodka (with a sharpie), never share it, drink it all before sharing it. Vodka doesn’t smell as strongly as soju, a person who has been drinking at all will be fooled because of the liquour on their own breath. Never hurts to have water with you anyways. Whether bottles or cans, drink only 2 sips ever, steal someone else’s empty and keep saying you just got a new one. It’s easy to pretend to drink only a sip. If the other person is getting far too nosy and in your face about not drinking, claim a temporary medical condition that you are overly cautious about (like antibiotics – which actually don’t mix badly with alcohol or high blood pressure meds – same but most people don’t know that unless they are a doctor) that keep you from drinking. Fail (on purpose) at any drinking contest, very early on (accidentally choke right away or spill your drink and stop or just pretend it tastes too awful to continue). There is only shame for the winner of any drinking contest in the end anyways. I have found that all of these things work far better (socially) than just refusing for common sense reasons. Definitely stay sober (and vigilant) around that principal, he’s trouble.

      4 years ago
      • Normally I’m quite polite and deferential to elders but I pick my battles and drinking and driving is something I’m firm on. I won’t even pretend to drink though I appreciate your advice!

        If we’re in the gym playing volleyball then sometimes the students (elementary) come in to watch. They’re also often on the playground that I must drive or walk past on my way out of the school. I don’t want them to see me drink (or pretend to drink) and drive.

        4 years ago
      • This happens in Western countries too. I agree that there aren’t the same cultural factors in play and perhaps not to the point of spiking someone’s drink (yikes!). I’m Australian and we have a huge drinking culture here too. I often (not always) decide not to drink which among friends is fine but at work drinks nights, there will be at least one or two people who take exception to the fact that I’m not drinking and will try and pressure/shame me into doing so. Its more annoying to keep defending your position than anything else. Usually the people that do this are big drinkers themselves, and its definitely seen as a ‘moral superiority’ thing.

        The only thing I would add to the above, is try to go to the bar by yourself and order a drink that looks like an alcoholic drink but isn’t. For example order an orange juice in a small tumbler and tell everyone its vodka and orange juice (change this to suit however drinks are served in your country). I used to do this just to get people off my back.

        4 years ago
    • Holy shit. All I can say. Ho-lee-shit.

      4 years ago
      • I’m transferring to another area of Jeollanamdo in August so I just have to be careful on Wednesdays until then.

        All my other schools are awesome and responsible. I sometimes volunteer as DD and take some of the teachers to the inter-city bus terminal. It’s fun because they are tipsy and not shy about speaking broken English!

        4 years ago
  14. I’ve lived in both South Korea and Taiwan, and in big cities like Seoul and Taipei, there is literally no excuse for driving drunk. Subway, cab, bus, everything is so affordable and so accessible, even late at night there’s always an option. I’m glad Rose is healing, and I hope your hearts heal as well. Thank you for your honesty, even when it’s painful.

    4 years ago
  15. That was tough to watch and I know it was tough to make. Thank you for having the strength to pass this message on, Simon. My prayers go out to Rose and her family, and you both as well.

    4 years ago
  16. Well you really got me thinking about this here and I checked the law in my country (Belgium). Apparently here it is not punished exactly the same way though the method is quite alike (depending on your level of alcohol in your breath/blood) and there is no difference if you hurt somebody (because I think it is then judged as a “hurt to people” with “aggravating circumstances”) But what I felt was really nice is that apparently it is also a crime to provoke or prompt a drunk person to drive, or to entrust a car to a drunk person.
    There is also a lot of safety videos and or responsible drivers are called Bob… But on the down note I’ve never seen a control in my 25 years. I know they do exist and even when we are coming back in town with my parents on week-end we’ve never been controlled.

    4 years ago
  17. Wow, that is horrible! I’m so so sooooo sorry. I hope that Rose can make a full recovery. Not only is it terrible that this happened to her, but it must be really scary being in a hospital in a foreign country, I am glad that you guise are there for her. I’m sure that Martina is the best hospital-visitor-EVAR! Get better soon Rose! {BIG BUT CAREFUL HUGS!!!!!!!} And thanks for talking about it Simon, you worked really hard and make a great and classy video.

    I don’t want to talk about the drunk driving, it makes me so mad +>_<+. Getting your elder home safely should be more respectful than letting him risk his/others' lives. Where is the honour in letting someone who is not in their right mind go around with a loaded gun(car)?

    4 years ago
  18. This makes me super sad and angry- I can’t understand why people would drive drunk when they have so many other options for getting home. In Japan- where I live- there is a zero tolerance policy for driving intoxicated. Like, no acohol in your blood whatsoever. And it is a serious crime if you’re found to be drinking and driving. If you’re a foreigner, you could possibly even be deported. As harsh as it sounds, I definitely think it’s a great idea. Even in rural areas we have designated driver services and taxis that can take you somewhere if you’ve been drinking. So if Japan can do it, why can’t Korea?

    4 years ago
  19. ****GLOMPS**** to all of you, I cannot even imagine how traumatic this is for you. I am so sorry that this happened.

    I am quite shocked to find out that in Korea you don’t get immediately arrested for this kind of thing. I know that in the US, in Colorado, anyways, if you are caught even a little drunk, you get arrested and your car is immediately impounded. Even so, the death toll caused by drunk driving in the US is pretty scary. According to the CDC, In 2013, 10,076 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for nearly one-third (31%) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States. I don’t even want to talk about how many of those deaths were children under the age of 14. Its so sad.

    I know many people impacted by drunk drivers, my father included. He was hit on his motorcycle when he was in his 20’s and had had to have over 6 surgeries on his knee since; and it still bothers him a lot.

    In Denver, CO specifically, I know they are trying to make the punishment for DUI’s even harsher because (according to the Denver Post) “Each year, roughly 10,000 drunken drivers are busted in Colorado for driving drunk again — and during a recent three-year span, more than 5,000 drunken drivers had at least three prior DUI arrests”. So they are trying in Colorado to pass legislation that drunk driving is no longer a misdemeanor, but a felony. This is definitely a huge problem here, as we have more micro-breweries per capita than any other state in the US, and they all make very high alcohol content beers.

    With the new resource of not just Cabs but Uber and Lyft drivers, which are cool apps you download, request a driver, and within less than 30 minutes usually someone with a car will come pick you up; there should be no excuse whatsoever for drunk driving. And if you are out drinking, you should be able to afford $20 for a Lyft, Uber, or a little more for a cab. I have heard of “Deri” here, designated drivers, but they are more like pre-planned chauffers that will take you and your friends out drinking, drive you around, look out for you and make sure you don’t get yourselves into trouble. I have never utilized this because I’m not a night-out kind of person, but I imagine it costs a lot more than $10. Even so, there’s also an easy access lightrail/train system that takes you practically anywhere in the city for $2-$5. Even all the way West to my neighborhood in Golden, 20 mins away! There’s even a free call-n-ride pickup shuttle to take you from the light rail station to other bus stops and areas within a 5 mile radius.

    With all these resources and educating people, hopefully the amount of drunk drivers is reduced. I hope that in Korea awareness can be raised as well as it sounds like a huge problem there as well. It will still happen, but maybe on a far smaller scale in the future.

    Much hugs to Martina, Simon, Spudgy, Meemers, Leigh, Soo-Zee, Rose, and everyone else on the EYK crew during this rough time. When it rains, it pours, but the storm will never last and will leave behind a rainbow ^_^

    4 years ago
  20. Reading this…was tough. A friend lost both his parents to a drunk driver when we were in college; will never forget that night. I understand completely why Martina would have a hard time talking about it.

    Seconding another commenter below; is there a PO Box where we can send Rose get well cards? Does she need any help with medical costs? Everyone loves obnoxiously happy and glittery cards! It’s not much…but it’s something.

    Keeping Rose (and the rest of the EYK crew!) in my thoughts. Focusing on happy things is a good strategy to heal, but also would like to suggest talking to someone if feelings of anger and anxiety linger? Don’t bottle your emotions guys…it’s never good. {{{ <3 }}}

    4 years ago
    • Guys, I agree with this. Focusing on happy things is great, but sometimes its a fine line between not dwelling on things and actively repressing your emotions which can resurface later in negative ways. Make sure that you process and heal. I’m sure you already know this, but just in case :)

      Take care of yourselves. Sending big hugs to Rose, you guys and all the EYK crew xo

      4 years ago
    • That’s really kind of you. If you’d like to send something to Rose, you can address it to her and send it via the address on our Contact Page: http://www.eatyourkimchi.com/contact :D

      4 years ago
  21. I have just returned from holiday so this was the first I had heard about this. I really, really hope Rose makes a full recovery and feels better soon. I cannot imagine what it must have been like to see that or to have to face the possibility one of you could well have died that night. No one should have to deal with something so horrendous that was completely avoidable in the first place. With regards to the friends who were guiding the driver out, what is it that is said – all that it takes for evil to exist in the world is for a good man to do nothing. If you stand by or facilitate this behaviour you have some culpability/responsibility.

    For me, drunk driving is a very personal issue. My Dad was knocked off the road by a drunk driver who then drove off. My Dad was in the car on his own but went down a hill and through several walls until he settled at the bottom of the hill. Fortunately the accident was seen and people got help to him but it nearly killed him at the time, it nearly killed him again a few weeks later (he had a blood clot as a result of the accident that was travelling to his heart that they only just found in time) and it has nearly killed him again 20 years later (he started having mini strokes, seizures and then serious heart issues that was all interconnected). My Dad is a lovely man but he received frontal lobe damage to his brain (which was only diagnosed when he started having the strokes), as a result I grew up with a Dad that could be completely and utterly wonderful but also had violent and unpredictable mood swings, was irritable, difficult, belligerent, stubborn, mean and violent. When I was a kid I always kind of knew that my Dad couldn’t actually help what he was acting like and the next morning he would act like nothing happened (because memory loss is also a side effect, when his blood pressure is up he can’t remember things – he had a stressful job when we were kids so his blood pressure was always up back then!). It was only in the last couple of years that we found out about the frontal lobe damage so it is only since then that I’ve had an explanation as to why I had such a difficult upbringing. I feel like that drunk driver did so much damage to not only my Dad but me and my siblings. I love my Dad very much but it was a confusing and deeply unhappy upbringing and it made treating my Dad’s medical issues in the last few years very challenging because he doesn’t remember things or is very, very difficult to deal with on occasion. What I’m trying to say is that the ramifications of some idiot getting into a car drunk can affect many people in ways the driver didn’t realise and, in some cases, cause recurring problems for decades. Basically if you wouldn’t want it to be someone you loved being affected by your actions, don’t do it.

    4 years ago
  22. Oh wow! I hope Rose recover quickly and fully and that you all will be able to move on from this horrible experience.

    As for your questions, in Norway the alcohol limit is 0,02 percent for private driving, if you are working as a driver there is a zero tolerance. The basic punishments for drunk driving are depended on how much over the limit you are. Between 0, 02-0.05% results the withdrawal of the driving licence (done at the spot) for a period of time (often less than a year) as well as a fine equivalent of 1, 5 monthly pay (some negotiation space is available here depending on living standard). 0,05-0,12 has the same fine, but licence is invoked for at least 1 year, and you are likely to receive a prison sentence. over 0,12% and you are looking at having your drivers licence revoked for a period of 2-5 years, as well as prison sentence and the fine.

    However, should you hit someone, or something, the financial responsibility for any injury and damage comes in addition to the fine you are expected to pay. Also, when you are in an accident due to drunk driving, your insurance does not cover anything as you are hold personally and directly responsible. Recently there have also been cases where alcohol locks have been put vehicles of repeated drunk drivers (as well as in some taxis and buses to reassure people that the driver is completely sober) so that they will not be able to drive under the influence at all.

    When you are out drinking people either take a taxi back, wait for the night buses, or have someone to call to pick you up. Drunk driving is taken quite seriously.

    4 years ago
  23. You are right Simon, in Canada, it wasn’t such a big deal before, but now it is different and we can’t thank enough the new laws against drunk driving. You are also right about the fact they can stop serving someone that is too intoxicated. I think they can have to actually. And there is a lot of new ways to go back home during the year. The service is not available only chrismas time now. The father of a victim created the taxi coupons. You can buy these coupons and all taxis will honor the value of the coupon and drive the person home. So you can take a taxi even if you have no more money.

    4 years ago
  24. In California it is illegal to drive with a Blood Alcohol Content of .08% or more (.04% for commercial vehicle drivers and .01% if under 21 years of age). If convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) you lose your license. However that is only for the charge of DUI, other charges may be added as the arresting officer sees fit. Then the accused may plead guilty to lesser charges to reduce the number and severity of said charges, this a called a Plea Deal. The rule of law in the USA is all accused are innocent until proven guilty. So it’s up to the State to prove beyond a reasonable doubt (for criminal charges) that the accused is guilty. The actual time in jail, fines and loss of driving privileges depends greatly on the ability of the accused to defend themselves. If you can afford a good lawyer you may walk away with your licence…

    4 years ago
    • GA is very similar. GA will also revoke your license if you refuse a roadside sobriety test. In my county the judges usually impose the max sentence of jail time and the max fine. GA does not play around with drunk drivers.

      4 years ago
  25. That is so horrible! I hope your friend recovers! Get well soon Rose!

    I know that in my country we just reduced the limits for drinking when driving. The only time I personally have ever stepped into the driver’s seat after consuming any amount of alcohol was one time when I literally had a sip to taste a weak drink, nothing more.

    I can’t even imagine why people think it’s okay to put theirs, and other people’s lives at risk, all for the sake of a night out. I am the only driver in my group of friends and would never want anything to happen to them while I was driving drunk, I dread the thought.

    Because of the change in laws in my country, the police had a crackdown on drunk driving, with lots of random stops and tests to see if people were obeying the new limit. It sort of annoyed people but I think it was the right thing to do after the change. Although, I did see someone in the city last week who left a trail of burnt rubber and smoke signalling they were definitely drunk (or really stupid) and dangerous when driving. This isn’t the norm though. I think, in general, people realise that that not an appropriate way to behave.

    4 years ago
  26. I have nothing else to say except : people have to be more responsible especially with the drinking and the driving . And I want to do a big group hug for the EYK crew. Love you guys. I’m happy that Rose is getting better and that you are too. xOxO

    4 years ago
  27. I work for Probation Services in the UK and we have a huge problem dealing with cases that involve driving offences, particularly death by dangerous driving. Often the service user has a good job, a family and is of good standing in the community. The view their offence as an ‘accident’, something that they never meant to do. But an offence is an offence and they made a choice to drive that way. Getting them to see that it’s their fault, is really difficult. They try to minimise their offence by saying things like ‘at least I didn’t mean to’ or ‘at least I don’t do drugs’.

    But alcohol is a drug. People forget that. Just because it’s a socially acceptable drug doesn’t make it any less dangerous. There really is a problem of acceptance surrounding driving offences and it seems like there needs to be a global shift in how we deal with drunk drivers.

    Glad to see Rose is healing and I hope everyone is able to heal quickly from this tragedy!

    4 years ago
  28. Whew, that was a tough watch and read. It’s heart breaking to hear news like this about people, that even though we’ve never met, I consider my internet friends. The drinking culture in Korea is something that certainly needs to be addressed. It’s at least a decade away, in my thoughts. And only then because it’s going to be a global dark mark on South Korea’s reputation, if that makes sense. Something else about Seoul that I’ve always noticed in your videos, is a serious lack of safe places for pedestrians to walk. Seoul grew at such a rapid rate and they are trying to cram so many people in such a small space, that it seems they continue to over look safety for profit. I’m not saying there aren’t side streets and alleys here in the US that don’t have sidewalks. And the US has narrow roads too. But the traffic in these areas is usually very limited because there is a safer alternative nearby. And while I only have dramas and videos to base this opinion on, it seems like there is a crazy amount of narrow winding no sidewalk type streets that are rather unavoidable if you need to get somewhere. And buildings are overly crowded next to each other so you have walls right next to the road so there isn’t even a place to dive out of the way if you had enough time to see someone coming around curve.

    4 years ago
  29. This makes me very curious about the process of getting a driver’s license in Korea. Here in the USA, a lot of people go to driving school. My daughter went at the age of 16 and they had a full 8 hour day devoted to driving under the influence and other forms of distracted driving – including some rather graphic video. But that’s for the young, and I’m not sure that every school does these type of education.

    4 years ago
  30. Thank you Simon for making this video. My thoughts go out to Rose and to everyone effected by this person’s carelessness.

    My husband and I just moved to Los Angeles and have started driving again after a few years relying on public transit in NYC. I still don’t understand how drinking culture works here when you basically need a car to go anywhere. As a result we have save these occasions for vacations where we use a cab service or have a designated driver. We don’t get to party often, but we definitely enjoy it more this way I think.

    4 years ago
  31. It is really disappointing to read this, to hear about how many people are driving drunk in a city setting. I could kind-of understand if people drive drunk (though they shouldn’t do it) in the suburbs or in the country since there isn’t many other options. Not many taxi services, buses, or walkable bars. Just a friend that decides not to drink for the night. I had to do that a few times when visiting friends in the burbs. I live near a major city, and I never understood why people would drive into it. There’s a train, you can walk places, it is really easy. If you don’t want to walk there are taxis and various services for rides. But knowing all the things about Korea from your videos it boggles my mind more that people would bother driving since the public transportation seems to be great. My friend and I both have been hit by cars, mine wasn’t anything to take much note of, a taxi tapped me, I yelled, life went on. My friend was hit by an older sober man, and went to the hospital but was fine. This video does make me feel grateful that I don’t feel the need to worry (or don’t think it is as big of a concern) about being hit by drunk drivers, and I hope Korea takes note that this is a problem.

    I wish Rose a speedy recovery.

    4 years ago
  32. All my thoughts still go out to Rose in recovery and to you guys. When I read of the accident it almost sounded like a scene from a horror movie, I cannot imagine how gruesome it must have looked.

    In the Netherland apparently 2 out of 10 car accidents are due to alcohol. (that’s what it says on the police website) We have a breatanalyser that they use when they pull over drivers that they think are drunk. Fines vary because it depends on how drunk you are, how often you’ve been caught drunk etc.

    A small personal story here. I am part of a group of friends and we go out camping every year (we’re girl/boy scouts). Since we are all of age now, most of us have a driver’s licence and all of us are allowed to drink. I personally don’t drink much (or not at all) and I don’t have driver’s license either. During our camping trips it is mandatory that there is someone who hasn’t had that much to drink so that they can get out their car and drive in case of emergency (this is scout policy). It really upsets me that none of them take this seriously. They drink a lot every night when we are out camping, 10 beers at least (I am not kidding) and then go to bed late. Then when we get up in the morning and we have to go places and we have to drive there, the alcohol still has not left their blood. I have no way of knowing this, but I know that you can’t drink that much, sleep for 3 hours and then be sober. It just doesn’t work like that.
    It is absolutely alien to me how they (my ‘friends’) could even consider this safe driving. I have brought it up (again) before our recent camping trip, but they didn’t take me seriously at all. TBH they are assholes about it. They did the exact same thing last summer, and this made me decide that I don’t want to come with this summer. I’m not sure if I want to call them friends as they are a hazard to themselves and others. I cannot believe they are 21 and making such ill-decisions. I think people should grow up and be responsible.

    4 years ago
  33. This situation makes me incredibly angry. I lived in Seoul for a year and a half, and there are SO MANY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS that there’s absolutely NO reason you should be driving your own car if you’ve been drinking. When I was there I saw pedestrians get tapped in the side by cars and get their feet run over a couple times, but this must have been horrific to witness. Hoping for a full recovery for Rose, and sending love from the US.

    And since you wanted to open up a dialogue about drunk driving in each country, here in the US, when I go out with friends, there is ALWAYS a designated driver. We switch off on who it will be each time, but since we don’t have much public transportation in my city (which is quite a small city) we have to have a plan in place. And if say, my fiancé and I are out and both get tipsy accidentally, we’ll call another friend to get us and bring us home. There’s never a reason to get behind the wheel drunk.

    4 years ago
  34. In Australia, Depending on your license and how much you have had depends on your punishment. For those on Red and Green P plates you are allowed no alcohol in your system and if you are caught then your car gets taken away and so does your license, and in some cases if your way over the limit you never get your car back. For fully licensed drivers depending on how high your reading is, you can get your license taken away and your car taken away and sometimes you never get them back. It is another story if you hit someone. You are arrested and taken to the station and depending on the damage you do you can go to jail and have to pay fines. However, with all of these you get fines and on extreme cases you go to jail. SO to me if the police did jack shit like they did in Korea I would be outraged and i hope that absolute moron learns his lesson or karma finds his lousy ass real soon. Just because they want to go and have a good time and get pissed doesn’t mean they can ruin someones life. I hope she gets better though…. It is horrible that this happened…

    4 years ago
  35. I feel so bad about what happened to Rose. It’s really heartbreaking and I’m so sad to hear that no real punishment is happening. I wish there was more we could do for Rose. Does she need any assistance with her medical bills? Maybe we could set up a gofundme or something. I just feel bad only being able to say that I’m sorry this happened. Hang in there guys. We love you.

    4 years ago
    • That’s very kind of you, but don’t worry about her medical bills. They’re covered :D

      4 years ago
    • Yes, I was wondering if there was an address we could send cards to? I mean who doesn’t like cards? Cards of like rainbows, puppies, and unicorns?

      4 years ago
  36. Ugh this made my blood boil so much I went in an finally made an account. Poor Rose. What in the fucking fuck.

    I’m writing for some anti-drunk driving commercials now and think of her every day at work…hope she gets better soon so she can start dancing again!

    4 years ago
  37. I saw Rose walking around Hongdae the day before looking super cute and happy; it’s amazing what can happen in 24 hours. I was in a pretty big bus accident in 2007 and now I have a fear of hard stops and large vehicles in general. I came dangerously close to having a panic attack on a Korean bus once, so I have a small understanding of what Martina must feel right now about this incident. Well wishes and prayers to the Nasty family!

    4 years ago
  38. I always glare and yell at cars for driving in Hongdae, especially at night. Its ridiculous and stupid. I have literally slapped on a car in front of NB2 so some guys foot wouldn’t get ran over. Drivers are crazy here and severely undereducated about safety procedures. I have almost been ran over and I don’t even think the guy was drunk. Just reckless. It scared me and the ahjumma who was walking across the street at the same time as me.

    4 years ago
    • Hongdae is such a nightmare to drive in. So much of Seoul is a nightmare to drive in. I won’t say it’s the worst in the world, but I won’t really take anyone’s driving complaints seriously if they’re from Canada or the US :/

      4 years ago
  39. One of the things that I forgot to mention in the blog post is how I think bar rules are different in Canada as well. Last I remember, bars stop serving you if you’re drunk. If you leave the bar wasted and get into an accident, the bar can be sued. In Korea, though, I don’t think the same rule applies, and bars can just keep serving you drinks until you pass out, which definitely doesn’t help the situation.

    4 years ago
    • On Long Island there is a Host Law. If you are serving drinks and someone gets drunk and drives, you are liable and can get jail time. This doesn’t just go for bars, this goes for ANYONE having a party and alcohol is being served. I’ve heard of a lot of parents getting into trouble because their kids or their kids friends brought alcohol to a party and driving home drunk.

      4 years ago
      • I’m in the US and I don’t know how well our drunk driving laws are enforced. My friend and I were hit by a drunk driver barreling down the wrong side of the road and both sustained serious injuries and he walked free.
        The car insurance companies didn’t even make him pay for the accident.

        4 years ago
    • That’s the same as the US. I’m not sure the bar can get sued (probably can), but you are trained when you get a server’s license to stop serving under this situation.

      4 years ago
      • They can be sued, but many don’t abide by the stop serving laws.

        4 years ago
      • I’m 99% sure you can get sued if you keep serving alcohol in the US. But I wonder if you were clearly drunk going into a liquor store (not a bar) and try to buy more booze, if they could get sued as well?

        4 years ago
        • Homeowners can also be sued in the US if there is a party and they allow someone to drive away drunk. If the person they served is a minor there are additional charges.

          4 years ago
        • In the US, not only can an establishment get sued, they can also lose their license to serve alcohol.

          4 years ago
  40. Tia

    Thank you for making this truthful, good intentioned perspective for us Simon. I hope Rose is recovering well and I hope that people will take these situations more seriously.

    4 years ago