What You Need to Know Under the “Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013” (Republic Act 10586): A Primer

The first arrest under Republic Act No. 10586 (also known as the “Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013? and its Implementing Rules and Regulations was made in March 2015. Whether one subscribes to the policy behind the new law or one would simply avoid the penalty of imprisonment that comes with violations of this law, it is always helpful to be familiar with its basic provisions. After all, ignorance of the law excuses no one.

Do NOT drink and drive

The dangerous effects of drunk drunk and drugged driving, labelled as Driving under the influence of alcohol (DUIA) and Driving under the influence of dangerous drugs and other similar substances (DUID) under the new law, also known as Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in other jurisdictions, is an open book. As noted in the explanatory note of one of the consolidated Senate Bills, “alcohol is society’s legal, oldest, and most popular drug. In 2002, it was estimated that a total of 14,700 individuals in the United States died in alcohol-related traffic crashes. This figure comprises 41% of the 42,815 reported traffic fatalities. Here in the Philippines, although such figures are not similarly available, it is well know that driving under the influence of drugs of alcohol present a serious and growing threat to the safety of the populace.”

The policy behind Republic Act No. 10586 is to penalize the acts of driving under the influence of alcohol, dangerous drugs and other intoxicating substances, and to inculcate the standards of safe driving and the benefits that may be derived from it through institutional programs and appropriate public information strategies.

To save lives, and to avoid imprisonment, do NOT drink and drive.

What is the coverage of the law and its penalties?

The law covers all acts of driving and/or operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, and/or dangerous drugs and similar substances. Motor vehicle refers to any land transportation vehicle propelled by any power other than muscular power, including: (1) Trucks and buses, which are motor vehicles with gross vehicle weight from 4501 kg and above; and (2) Motorcycles, which are two- or three-wheeled motor vehicles and which may include a side-car attached thereto.

Are there criminal penalties under R.A. 10586?

Yes, offenders can be imprisoned. The law, in fact, penalizes both the DRIVER and the OWNER of the vehicle involved.

Liability of drivers

A driver found to have been driving a motor vehicle and committing the act of DUIA or DUID shall be penalized as follows:

a. If the violation did not result in physical injuries or homicide, the penalty of three (3) months imprisonment, and a fine ranging from Php 20,000 Php 80,000.00 shall be imposed;

b. 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 Php 100,000 to Php 200,000 shall be imposed;

c. If the violation resulted in homicide, the penalty provided in Article 249 of the Revised Penal Code and a fine ranging from Php 300,000 to Php 500,000 shall be imposed; and

d. 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.

e. The prosecution for any violation of this law shall be without prejudice to criminal prosecution for violation of the Revised Penal Code, Republic Act No. 9165 and other special laws and existing local ordinances, whenever applicable.

Direct liability of operator and/or owner

The owner and/or operator of the motor vehicle driven by the offender (including 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) 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.

What is DUIA?

“Driving under the influence of alcohol” or DUIA refers to the act of operating a motor vehicle while the driver’s BAC level has, after being subjected to an ABA test, reached the level of intoxication, as established jointly by the DOH, the NAPOLCOM and the DOTC, in these Rules. For this purpose, a driver of a private motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight not exceeding 4500 kg. a BAC of 0.05% or higher shall be conclusive proof that said driver is driving under the influence of alcohol. For drivers of trucks, buses, motorcycles and public utility vehicles, a BAC of more than 0.0% shall be conclusive proof that said driver is driving under the influence of alcohol.

What is DUID?

“Driving under the influence of dangerous drugs and other similar substances” or DUID refers to the act of operating a motor vehicle while the driver, after being subjected to a confirmatory test as mandated under the law, is found to be positive for use of any dangerous drug.

Who is LEO?

“LEO” refers to “Law Enforcement Officers” of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) or authorized officer trained and deputized by the LTO to enforce the provisions of this law.

What is the procedure for apprehension under this law?

The basic requirement for apprehension is the existence of probable cause. In ALL cases, the burden of proof to establish the existence of probable cause is on the LEO.

Probable cause shall mean that the LEO has reasonable ground to believe that the person driving the motor vehicle is under the influence of alcohol, dangerous drugs and/or other similar substances upon personally witnessing a traffic offense committed by means of lane straddling, making sudden stops, overspeeding, swerving or weaving in such an apparent way as to indicate that the driver is under the influence of alcohol, dangerous drugs and/or other similar substances.

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 shall also constitute probable cause.

What is the procedure in screening for DUIA?

Screening for driving under the influence of alcohol or DUIA is done under the following procedure:

1. Upon personal determination of probable cause, a deputized LEO shall flag down the motor vehicle, direct the driver to step out of the vehicle anddetermine whether or not the driver is drunk or drugged. If the LEO has reasonable grounds to believe that the driver is drunk, the LEO shall expressly inform the driver of his assessment and the driver shall be directed to perform all of the three (3) above enumerated field sobriety test on site.

2. 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.

3. 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 law.

4. If the driver fails any of the field sobriety tests, the LEO shall proceed to determine the driver’s BAC level, through the use of the ABA, on site.

5. 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 provided herein and/or other pertinent law, after compliance with the requirement of due process.

6. A driver who, after ABA testing, registers a BAC higher than the prescribed limit shall be put under arrest and the motor vehicle impounded. The LEO shall observe the proper procedure in effecting the arrest and bringing the driver to the nearest police station for detention. 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.

7. In case of a BAC within the allowed limit, the driver shall be apprehended for the other traffic offense only and not for violation of this law.

8. Under no circumstance shall a driver, who has undergone and passed the field sobriety test and/or ABA test, be subjected to drug screening test afterwards.

9. The LEO shall accomplish the following preparatory to the turnover of the case to the police officer-on-duty of the nearest police station:

i. A complaint/charge sheet;

ii. Results of the field sobriety tests/ABA test in the prescribed format;

iii. Inventory of items under temporary custody (to include motor vehicle when necessary); and

iv. Other pertinent documents.

What are the Field Sobriety Tests?

There are three Field Sobriety Tests, which are standardized tests to initially assess and determine intoxication, namely: the eye test (horizontal gaze nystagmus), the walk-and-turn and the one-leg stand.

1. The Eye Test (“horizontal gaze nystagmus”) refers to?horizontal or lateral jerking of the driver’s eyes as he or she gazessideways following a moving object such as a pen or the tip of a penlight held by the LEO from a distance of about one (1) foot away from the face of the driver.

2. The Walk-and-Turn Test requires the driver to walk heel-to-toe along a straight line for nine (9) steps, turn at the end and return to the point of origin without any difficulty.

3. The One-Leg Stand Test requires the driver to stand on either right or left leg with both arms on the side. The driver is instructed to keep the foot raised about six (6) inches off the ground for thirty (30) seconds.

The LTO is required to publish the guidelines and procedures for the proper conduct of field sobriety tests, which guidelines shall be made available to the public and made available for download through the official LTO website. These are the same guidelines to be used in training the LEOs.

What is the procedure in screening for DUID?

If probably cause exists, the LEO shall follow the following procedure to screen for driving under the influence of dangerous drugs and other similar substances (DUID):

1. Upon personal determination of probable cause, a deputized LEO shall flag down the motor vehicle, direct the driver to step out of the vehicle anddetermine whether or not the driver is drunk or drugged. If the LEO has reasonable grounds to believe that the driver is drugged, the LEO shall expressly inform the driver of his assessment and shall bring the driver to the nearest police station.

2. 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.

3. Under no circumstance shall a driver, who has undergone and passed the drug, be subjected to field sobriety test and/or ABA test afterwards.

4. After a positive confirmation, the LEO shall accomplish the following preparatory to the turnover of the case to the police officer-on-duty of the nearest police station:

i. Results of the conduct of the DRP in the prescribed format;

ii. Inventory of items under temporary custody (to include motor vehicle when necessary); and

iii. Other pertinent documents.

5. Without positive confirmation, the driver shall be apprehended for the other traffic offense only and not for violation of this law.

What happens to the Driver’s License of those apprehended under the law?

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.

When is alcohol and drug testing mandatory?

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 orbody. 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.

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 laws.

Can the LTO conduct RANDOM drug testing?

Yes, but only for drivers of PUVs. The LTO shall conduct random terminal inspections and quick random drug tests of public utility drivers. A driver of a motor vehicle who refuses to undergo quick random drug tests 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 laws.

Can any traffic enforcer be a LEO?

No. LEOs must possess the required qualifications and undergo the requisite deputation procedures. The LTO may deputize only active members of the PNP, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and LGUs, who are occupying permanent position items and whose present work assignments are directly and actually related to traffic management and control. LTO enforcement officers, by virtue of their functions, need not be deputized to enforce and implement these rules. However, said LTO enforcers shall be subject to the same reportorial and procedural guidelines set forth herein. LEOs with previous deputations revoked for any reason whatsoever shall not be qualified for further deputation.

A deputation order shall be valid for six (6) months from date of issue and may be renewed every six (6) months thereafter unless earlier recalled by the LTO Assistant Secretary. The LTO shall maintain and update the list of deputized LEOs and other records such as information sheet of deputies, deputation orders, ID’s, TOP booklets and other relevant documents.

What is the procedure to be observed by LEOs for deputation?

All LEOs must: (a) submit, prior to deputation, certain requirements to the LTO; (b) undergo Deputies Training Seminar that includes required subject areas; and (c) pass the written and other examinations to be administered by the LTO. The requirements to be submitted by LEOs to the LTO include the information sheet duly indorsed by the Head of Office/agency, a certified true copy of the Certificate of Appointment, a certification from the recommending government agency that the LEO has no record of or pending administrative or criminal cases, and valid drug test results taken within the past six months prior to application.

What are the liabilities of deputized LEOs?

Any deputized LEO shall be held liable under the following:

1. Soliciting or accepting, directly or indirectly any gift, gratuity, favour, entertainment, loan or anything of monetary value from any person in the course of his or her official duties or in connection with any operation being regulated by, or any transaction which may be affected by the functions of his or her office under this law.

2. Republic Act No. 6713 otherwise known as the “Code of Conduct and EthicalStandards for Public Officials” and Employees, Republic Act No. 3019 otherwise known as the “Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act”, Republic Act No. 9485 otherwise known as “Anti-Red Tape Act” and other applicable laws.

What are the grounds for revocation of the deputation order?

The revocation of a LEO deputation may be initiated by a verified complaint, filed directly before LTO which shall conduct the investigation of the complaint. Pending the resolution of the complaint, the LTO Assistant Secretary may order the suspension of the deputation to preclude any incident of harassment of the complainant. A Show Cause Order shall be issued against the deputized LEO to answer the charges against him/her. The LTO Assistant Secretary may suspend or revoke any deputation order at any time for any reason whatsoever.

Any of the following causes shall constitute sufficient ground for the revocation of the deputation: (1) Discourteous conduct; (2) Extortion; (3) Negligence; (4) Insubordination; (5) Misconduct; (6) Abuse of authority; (7) Incompetence and inefficiency; (8) Corruption; (9) Failure to submit apprehension report within 24 hours from date and time of apprehension; (10) Any offense involving moral turpitude; (11) Separation from government service; (12) Dishonesty; (13) Death; (14) Withdrawal of endorsement by Head of Agency who endorsed the request for deputation; (15) Use of dangerous drugs and other similar substances before and during the period of deputation; (16) Intoxication while in the performance of duty; and (17) Other causes similar to and analogous to the foregoing.

One thought on “What You Need to Know Under the “Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013” (Republic Act 10586): A Primer

  1. Manuel

    Are drivers involved in vehicular accidents because of drunkenness automatically prosecuted by law because of violation of DUI law or do the victims have to file the case themselves for the offending drivers to be jailed? Am talking here of DUI resulting to injuries and property damage.

    Reply

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