Traffic enforcers will start using breath analyzer next week to arrest motorists who are driving under the influence (DUI) of liquor or prohibited substance, Chairman Francis Tolentino of the Metro Manila Development Authority said Thursday.
“We will implement this on March 12 but we need additional enforcers to do this. We all know during time of graduations, next is celebration and of course, it will end up in drinking spree,” said Tolentino.
He explained that the implementation of Republic Act 10586 or the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013 is nationwide, not limited only to the National Capital Region.
“So we need more people and proper training for the enforcers. The Land Transportation Office will be the lead agency to implement this and we’re here to help them,” Tolentino said.
“The education is not only for our enforcers but also for motorists who should not drink alcohol when driving,” he said.
Emerson Carlos, MMDA assistant general manager for operations, said several teams from the LTO, National Police and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency will be designated to enforce the law.
Carlos said MMDA traffic enforcers that will be part of the team must be a regular employee, have no administrative case, drug free, and tested negative for alcohol.
He added it is the LTO that must train traffic enforcers to use the breath analyzers.
Violators face penalties ranging from three months to 20 years in prison and fines of P20,000 to P500,000. They will also face a 12-month suspension of non-professional driver’s license for the first offense and perpetual revocation of the license for the second offense.
For professional drivers, a first offense would result in perpetual revocation of license.
The law also empowers the LTO to conduct random testing of public utility drivers at transport terminals nationwide.
Anyone suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol will undergo eye test or the horizontal gaze nystagmus, walk-and-turn test and the 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.
A driver found to have a higher blood alcohol level than the prescribed limit would be arrested and his vehicle impounded.
In cases where a law enforcer has reason to believe that the driver is under the influence of dangerous drugs, the driver would be brought to the nearest police station and subjected to a drug test.