Davao traffic enforcers still waiting for equipment, IRR to implement anti-drunk driving law

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 11 March) – The city’s law enforcement units will have to wait for the equipment from the Land Transportation Office before it can implement Republic Act 10586 or the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013, which takes effect March 12.

Furthermore, the Traffic Management Group, Philippine National Police, and Department of Health, in separate interviews with MindaNews, said they have yet to receive copies of the implementing rules and regulations of the law.

The PNP and TMC are among the deputized units of the law, with the DOH being among the agencies drafting the IRR.

Earlier this week, LTO national spokesperson Jason Salvador was quoted in an article at ABS-CBN News online that there were only 150 breath analyzers initially bought by the government for distribution nationwide.

Salvador added that composite teams comprising personnel from the LTO, PNP and LGU traffic units will be created to provide for a check and balance among agencies and avoid roadside mulcting.

In a telephone call Wednesday, TMC chief Rhodelio Poliquit said his office is still waiting for the copy of the rules, as well as the equipment, to start implementing the law.

In an earlier report, the TMC admitted it could not yet arrest or fine motorists suspected of drunk driving in the absence of the IRR.

In a text message last Sunday, DOH regional director Abdullah Dumama said the agency has also not received copies of the IRR.

Senior Supt. Vicente Danao, Davao City Police Office head, said in a telephone interview Wednesday that law enforcers could not per se arrest motorists for being suspected of drunk driving.

“As of now, being drunk remains an aggravating circumstance of traffic violations,” Danao said.

Units from the PNP’s Highway Patrol Group would have to rely on their plain view observations that drivers apprehended for traffic violations, such as speeding and reckless driving, were drunk.

The law deputizes traffic management units like the TMC and the Metro Manila Development Agency (MMDA).

The law carries a fine of at least P20,000, suspension of license of at least one year, and imprisonment of at least three months.

Second-offender non-professional license holders will face a lifetime revocation of his or her license, with harsher cancellation of permits as a penalty for professional license holders.

If the motorist causes an injury because of an accident while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the motorist will be fined up to P200,000 and charged under the Revised Penal Code.

Drivers will be fined up to P500,000 and penalized under the Revised Penal Code if a drunk- or drugged-driving accident causes a death.

According to the ABS-CBN news report, non-professional drivers found with blood alcohol content (BAH) exceeding 0.05 percent will be penalized.

The minimum for motorcycle riders and professional drivers is 0.01 percent BAH.