Drunk and drugged are two big no-no’s when steering the wheel, stepping on those pedals and flaring the road or simply said-when driving.
Being one of the major causes of road accidents, 3 government sectors namely Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), Department of Health (DOH) and the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) collaborated to forge the Anti-Drunk/Drugged Driving Act or RA No. 10586.
There is no question that the purpose of this law is for road safety of motorists and the pedestrians. However, it is important to know that under the Anti-Drunk/Drugged Driving Act or RA No. 10586 there are certain procedures to follow when a driver is suspected to be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Here’s what every driver should know:
If under the influence of alcohol:
1.) Being flagged down
A deputized law enforcement officer (LEO) cannot simply flag down any motorized vehicle and subject the driver to a sobriety test. An officer can only proceed with screening a driver when there is reasonable ground to believe that the driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, i.e., after witnessing a traffic offense.
- Law enforcement officer personally witnessed a traffic offense committed by means of lane straddling, making sudden stops, overspeeding, swerving or weaving
- In the course of apprehension for another traffic offense, the evident smell of alcohol in a driver’s breath, generally slurred speech in response to questioning, bloodshot or reddish eyes, flushed face, poor coordination, difficulty in understanding and responding intelligently to questions
Note: Law enforcement officer must ask the driver to step out of the vehicle and determine whether or not the driver is drunk or drugged. In any case, the burden of proof to establish the existence of probable cause is on the LEO.
2.) If the LEO has reasonable grounds to believe that the driver is drunk, the LEO shall expressly inform the driver of his assessment .
3.) The driver shall be directed to perform all of the three (3) above enumerated field sobriety test on site.
Note: A driver of a motor vehicle who refuses to undergo the mandatory testing as required shall be penalized by the confiscation and automatic revocation of his/her driver’s license, in addition to other penalties. All driver’s licenses confiscated under these rules shall be turned over to LTO for safekeeping and shall be released by LTO only after final disposition or lawful order of the courts.
Field Sobriety Test
Note: Driver must not fail “any” of the field sobriety test
- Eye test (“horizontal gaze nystagmus”) : You must follow with your eyes an object that the officer moves horizontally (a moving object such as a pen or the tip of a penlight held by the LEO) a foot away from the your face.
- Walk-and-turn test: You must walk “heel-to-toe” , nine steps forward in a straight line, turn, and then walk back the same distance without any difficulty.
- One-leg stand: You must be able to stand on one leg and raise the other at least 6 inches from the ground and hold that position for thirty seconds.
Driver passed the test : The LEO shall record the driver’s responses to the field sobriety tests above enumerated, which record shall form part of the records of the case.If the driver passes ALL of the three (3) field sobriety tests, the driver shall be apprehended for the other traffic offense only and not for violation of this Act
Driver did not pass the test: LEO shall proceed to determine the driver’s BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) level, through the use of the ABA (Alcohol Breath Analyzer) on site.
To pass this test, the driver has to have a blood alcohol concentration level below 0.05%. Drivers of public utility vehicles, trucks, buses, and motorcycles, however have to have a blood alcohol level of 0.0%.
Driver passed the test : Driver will only be sanctioned or penalized for the traffic offense violated excluding Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act.
Driver did not pass the test:
- Driver will be arrested. The LEO shall observe the proper procedure in effecting the arrest and bringing the driver to the nearest police station for detention.
The LEO shall accomplish the following preparatory to the turnover of the case to the police officer-on-duty of the nearest police station:
1. A complaint/charge sheet;
2. Results of the field sobriety tests/ABA test in the prescribed format;
3. Inventory of items under temporary custody (to include motor vehicle when necessary); and
4. Other pertinent documents.
- Vehicle will be impounded. The motor vehicle shall also be brought to the nearest LTO impounding area until the same is claimed by an authorized representative of its registered owner.
Note: Those who have passed either the field sobriety test or the ABA test are NOT obligated to take a drug screening test after the fact.
If under the influence of drugs:
1.) If there is reasonable grounds* to believe that the driver is under the influence of drugs, LEO shall expressly inform the driver of his assessment.
2.) Driver will be brought to the nearest police station, where he will be tested for drugs.
3.) At the police station, the driver shall be subjected to a drug screening test, in accordance with existing operational rules and procedures, and if positive, a drug confirmatory test under Republic Act No. 9165.
Positive test result :
- LEO shall accomplish the following preparatory to the turnover of the case to the police officer-on-duty of the nearest police station:
1. Results of the conduct of the DRP in the prescribed format;
2. Inventory of items under temporary custody (to include motor vehicle when necessary); and
3. Other pertinent documents.
Note: Without positive confirmation, the driver shall be apprehended for the other traffic offense only and not for violation of this Act.
Under no circumstance shall a driver, who has undergone and passed the drug, be subjected to field sobriety test and/or ABA test afterwards.
Mandatory Alcohol and Chemical Testing of Drivers Involved in Motor Vehicular Accidents
a. A driver of a motor vehicle involved in a vehicular accident resulting in the loss of human life or physical injuries shall be subjected to on site field sobriety test and ABA testing, whenever practicable, and, thereafter chemical tests, including a drug screening test and, if necessary, a drug confirmatory test as mandated under Republic Act No. 9165, to determine the presence and/or concentration of alcohol, dangerous drugs and/or similar substances in the bloodstream or body. A LEO may use other alcohol testing equipment, such as Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectroscopy (GCMS), whenever the use of an ABA is not practicable under prevailing circumstances.
b. A driver of a motor vehicle who refuses to undergo the mandatory testing as required shall be penalized by the confiscation and automatic revocation of his or her driver’s license, in addition to other penalties provided herein and/or other pertinent law
Penalties for Violation of Anti-Drunk/Drugged Driving Act or RA No. 10586?
- If the violation did not result in physical injuries or homicide, the penalty of three (3) months imprisonment, and a fine ranging from Twenty thousand pesos (Php 20,000.00) to Eighty thousand pesos (Php 80,000.00) shall be imposed;
- If the violation resulted in physical injuries, the penalty provided in Article 263 of the Revised Penal Code or the penalty provided in the next preceding subparagraph, whichever is higher, and a fine ranging from One hundred thousand pesos (Php 100,000.00) to Two hundred thousand pesos (Php 200,000.00) shall be imposed;
- If the violation resulted in homicide, the penalty provided in Article 249 of the Revised Penal Code and a fine ranging from Three 1 hundred thousand pesos (Php 300,000.00) to Five hundred thousand pesos (Php 500,000.00) shall be imposed; and
- The non-professional driver’s license of any person found to have violated the law shall also be confiscated and suspended for a period of twelve (12) months for the first conviction and perpetually revoked for the second conviction. The professional driver’s license shall also be confiscated and perpetually revoked for the first conviction. The perpetual revocation of a driver’s license shall disqualify the person from being granted any kind of driver’s license thereafter.
Direct Liability of Operator and/or Owner of the Offending Vehicle
The owner and/or operator of the motor vehicle driven by the offender shall be directly and principally held liable together with the offender for the fine and the award against the offender for civil damages unless he/she is able to convincingly prove that he/she has exercised extraordinary diligence in the selection and supervision of his/her drivers in general and the offending driver in particular.
This section shall principally apply to the owners and/or operators of public utility vehicles and commercial vehicles such as delivery vans, cargo trucks, container trucks, school and company buses, hotel transports, cars or vans for rent, taxi cabs, and the like.
Infographic: Anti-Drunk/Drugged Driving Act or RA No. 10586
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