Drivers be warned: You cannot drink and drive Anymore
Filipinos better take the saying ‘don’t drink and drive’ seriously starting this week because authorities have just published the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013 or Republic Act (RA) 10586.
The IRR was drafted by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), National Police Commission Chairman and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and Health Secretary Enrique Ona. It was finally published in line with Road Safety Month celebrations this May.
Under the IRR, drivers who are suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol are obliged to undergo three field-sobriety tests:
- The Eye Test. The suspect is required to follow an object 1 foot away from his face with his gaze.
- The Walk-and-Turn Test. The suspect is required to walk nine steps forward in a straight line, turn, then walk the same distance back without showing difficulties.
- The One Leg Stand Test. The suspect is required to stand on one leg with the other raised six inches above ground without losing his balance for 60 seconds.
If the suspected drunk driver fails any of the three tests, he or she must undergo an Alcohol Breath Analyser (ABA) Test. The allowable blood-alcohol level limit for drivers is 0.05% or below. Any higher and the driver will be arrested for violation of RA 10586. However, if the driver passes the ABA test, then he or she will be apprehended for the traffic violation (if any) only.
On the other hand, drivers who are suspected of driving under the influence of drugs will be brought to the nearest police station for drug testing.
The punishments for violating RA 10586 are:
- Minimum: 3-month jail time plus Php20,000 fine
- Maximum: 20-year imprisonment plus Php500,000 fine
- 12-month suspension of the driver’s licence in the first offence for non-professional drivers
- Perpetual revocation of the driver’s licence in the second offence for non-professional drivers and in the first offence for professional drivers
Aside from the rules regarding the application of the ABA Test and penalties, the IRR also empowers the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to conduct random tests of public vehicle drivers in transport terminals around the country.
RA 10586 was signed into law by President Aquino in May of 2013. The drafting of the IRR was primarily delayed because of lack of training among traffic enforcers in the use of the breath analyser device.