Its Christmas party season once again!
If you go home late at night after these merry making events, you will notice cars that swerve from one lane to another, lurch forward suddenly or worse, wander off and clip railings or even other cars on the road.
These are sure signs that the driver is in a bad state of intoxication from alcohol or even prohibited drugs.
Unfortunately, Filipinos do not bother to read the legal clauses of their comprehensive motor insurance policy. They only pay attention when an accident has already happened.
One of the more important provisions of the comprehensive motor insurance policy is a statement on drunk driving. If you meet an accident that causes death or destruction of property, your insurance policy will NOT pay a cent to you.
Compounding your hangover the following day are the penalties associated with being caught driving under the influence (DUI).
Republic Act 10586 or the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013 stipulates that:
A drunk driver who figured in an accident which resulted in physical injuries shall be fined with P100,000 to P200,000 and be penalized under the Revised Penal Code;
If a road accident resulted in homicide, a driver shall be fined with P300,000 to P500,000, and be penalized under the Revised Penal Code; and
Non-professional drivers found with blood alcohol content (BAH) exceeding 0.05 percent will be penalized. For motorcycle riders and professional drivers, the maximum limit is 0.01 percent BAH.
Another worrisome statistic is the growing number of new cars on the road.
The Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines reported that as of September 2015, there was an unprecedented 29-percent increase in the sales of new vehicles compared to last year.
In January-September 2014, a total of 65,379 new cars were sold by the car companies. In the same period in 2015, there were already 84,036 new vehicles and the monthly sales are rising even faster.
One can only surmise that a lot of these new car owners are neophyte drivers.
This combination of new drivers and drinking sprees during Christmas parties can quickly turn your merry making into a nightmare.
So limit your alcohol intake when attending Christmas parties and drive more carefully at night during this merry-making season.