Press Release
December 19, 2010

Legarda Wants Stricter Penalties for Drunk Driving

Senator Loren Legarda today stressed the need for a law imposing stricter penalties for drunk driving, noting that numerous cases of vehicular accidents involve individuals who are under the influence of alcohol.

Legarda made the statement as the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) warned of more incidences of vehicular accidents during the holiday season due to drunk driving.

"Drivers should be responsible all the time because a lot of alcohol-related vehicular accidents oftentimes result in death and injury to innocent victims. Driving under the influence of liquor or illegal drugs is prohibited under the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, but it merely imposes a minimal penalty and does not really address the seriousness of the matter," she said.

The Senator said that through her proposed measure under Senate Bill 1339, individuals caught driving under the influence of alcohol will be punished with the penalty of prision correccional (imprisonment from six months and one day to six years), or a fine ranging from P20,000 to P80,000, or both.

Meanwhile, if the person caught under the influence of alcohol has caused physical injuries or homicide, the penalty shall be the same as stated in Article 263 or Article 249, respectively, of the Revised Penal Code.

Aside from imposing penalties, the bill also seeks to address the problem of drunk driving through various measures, such as driver education; mandatory alcohol and drug testing of drivers involved in fatal motor vehicle accidents; the establishment of a drunk driving prevention fund that will be used for the implementation of this measure; and the conduct of public information campaign by alcohol beverage manufacturers about drunk driving and its ill effects.

"Driving under the influence of alcohol is a matter of grave public concern that needs to be dealt with more seriously because it can cause, and in fact has already caused, the loss of lives. There must be full personal and social responsibility for the incidence of drunk driving in our country," Legarda explained.

"Stricter penalties and methodical laws that seek to effectively and efficiently eliminate the problem are needed. Meanwhile, I urge all drivers to be more responsible--do not to drive when under the influence of alcohol or avoid drinking alcoholic beverages if it is necessary for you to drive afterwards," she concluded.

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