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PNoy signs Arroyo bill vs. drunk driving into law

May 30, 2013 1:30pm

(Updated 4:55 p.m.) President Benigno Aquino III has signed into law a bill — principally authored by former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo — against drivers who are under the influence of alcohol and dangerous drugs.
Republic Act (R.A.) 10586, signed by the president on May 27, gives law enforcement officials the authority to conduct sobriety and breath alcohol tests on drivers found to have "indications" of drunk driving, such as overspeeding, weaving, swerving and lane straddling.

The law was authored by Arroyo, whose administration has been repeatedly criticized by Aquino, and her son, Camarines Sur Rep. Dato Arroyo.

The new law also provides for mandatory testing on those involved in vehicular accidents to check if they were driving under the influence of alcohol or dangerous drugs.

R.A. 10586 penalizes persons found guilty of drunk or drugged driving with imprisonment of up to 12 years and a fine of up to P500,000, if the crime resulted in homicide.

If the act of drunk driving did not cause death or physical injuries, the penalty of three months imprisonment and a fine of P80,000 shall be imposed on the violator.

'Safety nets'

At a press briefing on Thursday, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the government has enough "safety nets" to make sure that the new law will not be abused by corrupt policemen, colloquially called as "kotong" cops.

"Of course, you can always report any law enforcement officer that will abuse this particular new law. The grievance mechanisms are in place and we do encourage the reporting of law enforcement officers who may want to take advantage of this particular law," Valte said.

She added that R.A. 10586 also provides for trainings for officers from the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to make sure that it will be implemented properly.

The legislation likewise directs the LTO and the PNP to acquire sufficient breath analyzers and drug-testing kits using the Special Road Safety Fund for the implementation of the law. — RSJ/KBK, GMA News
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