What are the rules vs drunk, drugged driving?

Posted at 05/16/14 4:40 PM

MANILA - The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) on Friday released the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA) No. 10586, also known as the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act.

RA 10586 penalizes drivers who are caught driving under the influence of alcohol or illegal substances.

Under the IRR, an apprehended driver suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol will be subjected to three field sobriety tests: the eye test, walk-and-turn test, and one-leg stand.

The eye test requires the driver to follow with his gaze an object that the law enforcer moves horizontally, around one foot away from the driver's face.

The walk-and-turn test requires the driver to walk nine steps forward in a straight line, turn, then walk back the same distance without difficulty.

The one-leg stand requires the driver to stand on one leg and raise the other around six inches from the ground for about 60 seconds.

If the driver passes these three tests, he will be apprehended for his traffic violation only.

But if he fails any of the tests, he will be subjected to an Alcohol Breath Analyzer (ABA) test, which will determine his blood alcohol level.

RA 10586 limits the allowable blood alcohol level for drivers of private vehicles below 4,500 kilograms to below 0.05 percent.

For drivers of public utility vehicles, trucks, buses and motorcycles, no amount of alcohol is allowed.

"In the case of drivers of buses and other public utility vehicles, however, they cannot have any amount of alcohol in their blood at all, since people's lives are in their hands," DOTC Secretary Jun Abaya said.

When a driver is found to have a higher blood alcohol level than the prescribed limits, he will be arrested, and his vehicle will also be impounded.

Meanwhile, in instances wherein a law enforcer has reasonable grounds to believe that the driver is under the influence of dangerous drugs, the driver shall be brought to the nearest police station where he will be subjected to a drug screening test.

The penalties for violations of RA 10586 range from a minimum of a three-month imprisonment plus a P20,000 fine to a maximum of a 20-year imprisonment plus a P500,000 fine.

It will also entail a 12-month suspension of a non-professional driver's license for the first offense, and perpetual revocation for a second offense. For professional driver's licenses, the first offense alone will result in perpetual revocation.

The IRR, which was drafted jointly by the DOTC, the National Police Commission through its Chairman, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas, and Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Enrique Ona, provides for mandatory alcohol and drug testing of drivers involved in motor vehicle accidents which result in death or physical injuries.

It also empowers the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to conduct random testing of public utility drivers at transport terminals nationwide.