GMA co-authors new law on driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
by Vince Pornelos
Former President and current Representative for Pampanga's 2nd District, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, today had the House of Representatives approve House Bill 4251, a new law that sternly penalizes drunk driving or driving while under the effects of illegal drugs.
The new bill imposes a fine of at least PhP 5,000 that can reach up to PhP 20,000 if a person is found operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated on alcohol, and possible revocation of license for repeat offenders. Meanwhile those caught under the influence of drugs will face a revocation of license and PhP 10,000 fine for private individuals; while public utility vehicle drivers will be slapped with a stricter punishment of one month and a day to one year imprisonment along with the automatic revocation of their license. For the bill to pass into law, the upper house, the Senate, must also approve a counterpart bill, which will then become an implemented law once President Aquino signs it.
The new law prescribes that if any driver is suspected of being under the influence of a drug or intoxicated on alcohol, he or she will be brought to the precint for immediate tests to verify whether or not he/she violates the law. Also, as an added measure, drivers that figure in a vehicular accident will also be tested accordingly.
Apart from the corresponding fines and licensure suspensions, drivers caught violating the law will be required to render community service.
To enforce the law in the future, the bill provides for the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to acquire proper testing equipment such as breathalizers to ascertain the blood toxicity of the suspected drivers. There are, however, are still no particular details as to what the testing procedures are or what the medical/clinical definition (i.e. blood alcohol level) of drunk driving in House Bill 4251 is.