Drunk drivers now face prison, fines

by Rose Carmelle Lacuata, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Jun 02 2014 10:54 PM | Updated as of Jun 03 2014 06:54 AM

MANILA - Here's what you should know about the law against driving while drunk or under the influence of illegal drugs, which was enforced starting June 1.

Jason Salvador of the Land Transportation Office (LTO), in an interview on radio dzMM, said aside from operatives from the LTO, law enforcers from the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Highway Patrol Group will be deputized to help implement the law.

The enforcers will also undergo training to determine if a driver is drunk or used illegal drugs.

Salvador said only motorists who show indications that they are either drunk or used illegal drugs will be apprehended.

"Kapag hindi natural ang pagmamaneho, at nakakaviolate na ng traffic rules and regulations, paparahin na yun ng enforcer," he said.

The driver will then have to undergo a field sobriety test.

It is composed of three tests, namely the horizontal gaze test, the walk-and-turn test, and the one-leg stand.

If a driver fails these tests, the person would have to go through a breath analyzer test that will find out how much alcohol is in a person's blood stream.

If suspected of using drugs, the driver will be brought to the nearest police station to undergo a drug test.

Those who will be proven guilty of drunk-driving, even if they are not involved in a vehicular accident, will have to pay P20,000 to P80,000 in fines, and will be imprisoned for a minimum of 3 months.

Salvador said public utility vehicle drivers, such as those behind the steering wheel in jeepneys and buses, should have no trace of alcohol in their system.

The LTO will send composite teams to apprehend drunk and drugged drivers.

Salvador also reminded motorists to make sure that the enforcer flagging them down are in uniform.

He said motorists are also allowed to take pictures or videos of the whole procedure. He added that the LTO will soon install video cameras in the enforcers' vehicle to monitor the process and prevent any abuse.

"Hindi po natin pinipigilan na magsaya o magdiwang ang mga tao. Ang sinasabi lang po natin, kapag uminom kayo, huwag po kayong magmamaneho," Salvador said.

The law will be on an information dissemination phase for a month.