Senate approves heavy penalties for drunk, drugged drivers
The Senate on Monday approved in third and final reading a measure imposing heavier penalties on drivers driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs to lessen drug or alcohol-related vehicular accidents in the country.
Senate Bill No. 3365, otherwise known as the Anti-drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2012, was sponsored by Senator Gregorio Honasan, chairman of the Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs.
Under the proposed legislation, Honasan said drivers caught driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs but have not caused any physical injury or homicide, shall be fined from P20,000 to P80,000 and face three months imprisonment.
He said DUI resulting in physical injuries shall be fined from P100,000 to P200,000 and face imprisonment ranging from three months to 12 years depending on the injury caused while DUI leading to homicide shall be fined from P300,000 to P500,000 or imprisonment ranging 12 years to 20 years.
Honasan said non-professional driver’s license of violators shall be confiscated and suspended for 12 months for the first conviction and perpetually revoked on the second conviction.
On the other hand, professional driver’s license of violators shall 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, he said.
He said mandatory alcohol and drug testing will be required for drivers involved in accidents which resulted in injury or death.
“This bill seeks to strengthen the Land Transportation Traffic Code of 1964 which, almost 50 years ago, was decreed to penalize drunk drivers with three months imprisonment,” Honasan said in his sponsorship speech.
“Under the measure, vehicular mishaps caused by drivers found to be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs shall not be treated merely as reckless imprudence,” he explained.
Honasan said alcohol and drugs could cause mental impairment or adversely affect normal physical reflexes. He said DUI is not just a case of thoughtless or careless indiscretion.
He cited data released by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) last year, which showed that out of the 86,602 vehicular accidents recorded, three percent were drug or alcohol-related while 55 percent were reportedly due to driver’s error.
The measure were authored by Senate Majority Floor Leader Vicente Sotto III, Senate President Pro-Tempore Jinggoy Estrada and Senators Honasan, Antonio Trillanes, Lito Lapid, Manny Villar, Loren Legarda, Miriam Defensor Santiago, Ramon Reveilla Jr., Pia Cayetano and Bongbong Marcos.