A drunk-driving law at last
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
It came as a surprise to many that, until the signing into law by the President of Republic Act No. 10586, or the law against drunk driving, the Philippines did not have one that specifically addresses the perennial and very dangerous problems of accidents caused by people who go on the road after having imbibed alcoholic liquor that affects their judgment and reflexes.
Now we realize that, before this, we had only heard of those who have been involved in accidents while in the state of intoxication, being charged for the death or injuries of the victims. Seldom, or never have we heard of anyone apprehended or penalized simply for being caught while driving under the influence of alcoholic drinks.
In the movies, in news items, or in police blotters, especially in the United States, we hear of people, both men and women, being stopped by the police on suspicion of being drunk, or, euphemistically, “under the influence”. In fact, in some states they have even abbreviated that further to “UTI”, meaning, “Under the influence…”
If for nothing else, this new law will help protect people who could be the victims of those who insist on driving even if they have taken alcohol in amounts over the limits they can tolerate. Even in our own country, our towns and cities, we very often hear or read reports of accidents caused by drunken driving. But nothing can be done about those involved, unless they cause deaths and victimize innocent people.
In a few days, RA No. 10586, or the Act Penalizing Persons Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, Dangerous Drugs and Other Similar Substances, will take effect. As announced by Malacañang, the police will be provided with the gadgets that can be used to detect the amount of alcohol or drugs in the blood of the suspect. Penalties are also provided for violators, and they are not mild ones.
The new law gives us hope that deaths on our roads and highways caused by drunk driving will now be reduced, if not eliminated.*