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Anti-drunk driving bill passes final reading in Congress

Photo by loQal.ph
By Marjorie Gorospe, loQal.ph
For Yahoo! Southeast Asia

QUEZON CITY, METRO MANILA — A bill against drunk driving has reached third and final reading in Congress.

The Anti-Drunk Driving Bill (House Bill No. 4251) was co-authored by former President and now Pampanga 2nd District Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) will implement the law and is currently acquiring breath analyzers and desktop drug-testing kits.

The bill states that the drivers can be charged with drunk driving when operating a motor vehicle if the driver's mental and motor skills are impaired or when the driver's blood alcohol concentration level measures 0.06 or higher.

A private motorist caught drunk-driving will pay sanctions of not more than P20,000 and one month suspension of his or her driver's license.

Public utility drivers who will be caught driving under the influence of alcohol and illegal substance will be facing heavier penalties such as automatic revocation of driver's license and imprisonment ranging from one month and a day to a year.

Party-list Representative Emmeline Aglipay who co-authored the bill said it will now be easier to identify and apprehend violators as drunk driving is defined clearly on the bill.

The Department of Health National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) revealed that there were 3,077 vehicular accident-related injuries out of the total 9,521 injury cases reported in 77 hospitals for the first quarter of 2010 alone.

The World Health Organization (WHO) showed that alcohol intake, depending on the level of intoxication, often increases the likelihood of accidents due to poor judgment and decreased reaction time, among other effects.

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