Press Release
September 11, 2006

Filed Bill to penalize driving under the influence of liquor or drugs

Senate President Manny Villar, President of the Nacionalista Party, says it's about time that the country enacts a law defining and punishing as a crime the act of driving while under the influence of liquor and/or prohibited drugs.

"Most vehicular accidents and traffic altercations are a result of drunken driving. And yet we still don't have a national law to penalize as a crime drunken driving. There are some cities and municipalities that slap penalties to drunken driving but these are minimal," says Villar.

Villar earlier filed Senate Bill No. 778 or an act defining as a crime the act of driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of liquor and/or prohibited drugs and providing graduated penalties therefor. Its equivalent bill in the Lower House Bill No. 4893 authored by Rep. Eduardo Zialcita, had been approved on third and final reading already.

Villar welcomes this development, with the house bill already approved on final reading, this legislation on drunken driving is likely to progress smoothly.

Under Villar's bill, first-time offender faces a fine of P1,000 and suspension of driving license for one year. A second offense and subsequent offenses will result to a fine of P5,000 and the revocation of driving license for five years, if and when the offenders license is already suspended or revoked during the period, he/she will also be sentenced to one to five years imprisonment.

Normally, a person is considered under the influence of alcohol when his blood alcohol level reaches 0.06 milligrams or 1/6 of 1% of a person's blood content, or higher. The alcohol level is the amount of alcohol present in a person's bloodstream.

"Motorists or drivers should be responsible enough to protect themselves as well as their passengers and not to harm or even kill innocent people on the road. As the campaign goes, 'when you drink don't drive, when you drive don't drink'," adds Villar.

The bill authorizes the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC), the Department of Health (DoH) and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to promulgate the policies for the implementation of the bill.

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