<< Back to Home

New Laws for Drunk Drivers
Posted by Charles Esslinger on May 16th, 2014

Drunk driving in the Philippines:

Today, the Philippines' Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) released new rules and regulations for motorists driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The implementing rules and regulations (IRR), which fall under the Drunk and Drugged Driving Act, will go into effect on June 1.

The new law, which was jointly crafted by the the Transportation and Communications Secretary Jun Abaya, National Police Commission Chairman and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, and Health Secretary Enrique Ona, sets the legal blood alcohol level of private vehicle drivers to under .05 percent. Currently, the legal limit is .08 percent.

When it comes to the legal limit for commercial drivers, there is a zero-tolerance policy. “In the case of drivers of buses and other public utility vehicles, they cannot have any amount of alcohol in their blood at all, since peoples lives are in their hands,” Jun Abaya explained.
Under the new IRR, motorists who are suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be subjected to three different field sobriety tests. The tests include the following:

One Leg Stand – Requires the driver to stand on one leg while raising their other leg six inches from the ground. They must be able to sustain this pose for about 60 seconds.

Walk-and-Turn Test – The driver must walk nine steps forward in a straight line, turn, and walk back the same distance without any difficulty.

Eye Test – In this test, the drive is told to follow an object while the law enforcement officer moves it horizontally, about a foot away from the driver's face.

If the driver fails any one of these tests, a breathalyzer will be administered. The breathalyzer, which is highly accurate, allows law enforcement to determine exactly how intoxicated the suspect is. If a driver is found to be over the legal limit, they will be arrested and have their vehicle impounded. If the driver is within the legal limit, they will receive a traffic violation.

“In instances wherein a law enforcer has reasonable grounds to believe that the driver is under the influence of dangerous drugs or other substances, the driver shall be brought to the nearest police station, where he will be subjected to a drug screening test in accordance with existing laws,” the IRR states.

The punishment for drunk driving offenses, which is outlined by the IRR, can vary quite a bit. Jail time can range from a three-month minimum all the way to a 20-year maximum, with fines between P20,000 and P500,000. Penalties also include a 12 month suspension of non-professional driver's license for first time offenders and an perpetual revocation for the second offense. For professional drivers, all it takes is one offense to have your license indefinitely revoked.

Breathalyzers in Maryland:

Maryland's drunk driving laws just got a little tougher.

From now on, drunk drivers who are caught with a child in their vehicle in Maryland will be required to use interlock breathalyzers. The new bill, which was signed into law by Gov. Martin O'Malley Tuesday, will expand law enforcement's ability to stop reckless drunk drivers. Any person who is convicted of a DUI with a child under the age of 16 in the vehicle, regardless of their blood alcohol content, will be required to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle.

“On average, someone in Maryland is arrested every 19 hours for impaired driving while also transporting a minor,” said Kurt Erickson of the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP). “Maryland's newest DUI law addresses both this egregious crime and the fact that unlawful actions are on the rise in Maryland.

According to a study from the University of Maryland, 465 drivers were arrested in 2012 for driving under the influence while also transporting a minor.


GMA News - http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/361352/news/nation/law-against-driving-while-drunk-or-high-takes-effect-on-june-1

The Washington Post - http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dr-gridlock/wp/2014/05/15/new-maryland-law-breathalyzers-for-drunk-drivers-who-carry-kids/?tid=hpModule_99d5f542-86a2-11e2-9d71-f0feafdd1394