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Actor Kwak Do-won caught drunk driving, likely to halt activities

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Actor Kwak Do-won at a press event in 2019 / Korea Times file
Actor Kwak Do-won at a press event in 2019 / Korea Times file

By Kim Rahn

Actor Kwak Do-won has been caught drunk driving on Jeju Island, according to police.

The Jeju Seobu Police said police officers found him sleeping in his SUV which was parked in the middle of a street near an elementary school in the island's northwestern area of Aewol at around 5 a.m., Sunday. The officers arrived at the scene following a report by a resident that a vehicle was in the middle of the road and wasn't moving.

The police woke him up and conducted a sobriety test, which Kwak accepted without resistance. His blood alcohol concentration was 0.158 percent, far higher than 0.08 percent, an amount that justifies the cancellation of his driving license. He told police that he drove the car about 11 kilometers to Aewol from the neighboring town of Hallim, and police believe he fell asleep while waiting for a traffic light to change.

"Fortunately his drunk driving did not result in an accident," a police officer said. "We'll call him in again later to question him over the details (about his driving)."

Kwak's agency Mada Entertainment issued an apology, saying he and the agency feel responsible. "We'll come up with measures promptly not to cause any trouble for people who have been working with him," it said in a statement, Monday.

However, the drunk driving is likely to force him to halt activities for at least a few months or even for years, and thus, cause trouble for productions featuring him that are slated for release soon.

He took the lead role in the film "The Firefighters," which is based on the true story of a fire in Seoul's Hongje-dong in 2001. The film directed by Kwak Kyung-taek has been expected to hit local theaters at the end of this year, but the release may be delayed due to the actor's misdeed.

Another work in the production process is Tving original series "Villains" which is supposed to be released next year.

The producers of "The Firefighters" and "Villains" said they are discussing how to respond to the situation.

Since September last year, Kwak has been participating in a government campaign to prevent online sex crimes. The campaign's YouTube video clip, in which he was shown wearing a police ceremonial uniform, was removed after the drunk driving incident.

Kim Rahn


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