BACOLOD

Sanchez: DUI enforcement comes to town

Nature Speaks

FINALLY, the State has finally started enforcing Republic Act 10586 (Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013). As they say, better late than never. “First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you,” says Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald.

In a report by Global Status Report on Road Safety, 1.2 million people die and many more get injured due to road accidents. Seven out of ten of these accidents are due to drunk driving, also known as Driving While Intoxicated (DWI).

Renato Novero, head of the Enforcement Team of the Land Transportation Office (LTO)-Bacolod City, confirmed the agency has started enforcing the law.

“The driver should strictly follow the law because violation would mean a huge amount of penalties including imprisonment,” Novero warned.

If convicted, the accused causes physical injuries (from P100,000 to P200,000) or even homicide (P300,000 to P500,000), along with imprisonment and revocation of the license to drive.

Whew, stiff penalties compared to reckless imprudence leading to injury or homicide. Although as mediators, I asked my parties at what time did the accident happened. In several occasions, the accident happened in the late evening to the wee hours of the morning.

No less than President Rodrigo Duterte warned the violators. Just after the May 9 elections, Duterte warned: “If I caught you [driving drunk], I would strip you naked on the highway. I would call the media.” “Do not drink and drive. Once you do that, you will know that you might kill a person.”

According to data from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, the majority of severe vehicular accidents occur between midnight and 6 a.m., which is the most common time for DUI incidents.

The LTO-Bacolod will implement first the law against the drunk drivers or those under the influence of alcohol and later if the drug testing chips would arrive, they would also include those drivers who are driving while high in illegal drugs because, under the law, a driver found to have been driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, dangerous drugs and/or other similar substances are covered.

The professional driver’s license of any person found to have violated Section 5 of this Act shall also be confiscated and perpetually revoked for the first conviction.

I wonder though whether our PNP or the LTO know the low-tech tests of DUIs. Here are the basics.

First, the eye test: suspect must follow with his/her gaze an object that the officer moves horizontally, a foot away from the subject's face.

Second, Walk-and-turn test: suspect must walk nine steps forward in a straight line, turn, and then walk back the same distance.

Third, one leg stand: suspect must be able to stand on one leg and raise the other at least six inches from the ground and hold that position for 60 seconds. (bqsanc@yahoo.com)


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