Drunk driving

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Persida Acosta

Dear PAO,
My nephew, Thomas, was caught in Ayala Avenue, Makati at around one o’clock in the morning. The police investigation report disclosed that Thomas was under the influence of alcohol when he was flagged down by the police officers in their random checkpoint along Ayala Avenue. I want to know what crime did Thomas commit and the possible penalties for such violation, if any.
Thank you very much.
Katrina

Dear Katrina,
Thomas has committed a violation of Republic Act (RA) 10586, otherwise known as the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013. The said law, particularly Section 5 thereof provides that driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol is an unlawful act. The said provision is quoted below:

“Section 5. Punishable Act. – It shall be unlawful for any person to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, dangerous drugs and/or other similar substances.”

Moreover, the possible penalties that may be imposed to Thomas can be gleaned from Section 12 of the aforementioned law, to wit:


“Section 12. Penalties. – A driver found to have been driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, dangerous drugs and/or other similar substances, as provided for under Section 5 of this Act, shall be penalized as follows:

(a) If the violation of Section 5 did not result in physical injuries or homicide, the penalty of three (3) months imprisonment, and a fine ranging from Twenty thousand pesos (P20,000) to Eighty thousand pesos (P80,000) shall be imposed;

(b) If the violation of Section 5 resulted in physical injuries, the penalty provided in Article 263 of the Revised Penal Code or the penalty provided in the next preceding subparagraph, whichever is higher, and a fine ranging from One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000) to Two hundred thousand pesos (P200,000) shall be imposed;

(c) If the violation of Section 5 resulted in homicide, the penalty provided in Article 249 of the Revised Penal Code and a fine ranging from Three hundred thousand pesos (P300,000) to Five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000) shall be imposed; and

(d) The nonprofessional driver’s license of any person found to have violated Section 5 of this Act shall also be confiscated and suspended for a period of twelve (12) months for the first conviction and perpetually revoked for the second conviction. The professional driver’s license of any person found to have violated Section 5 of this Act shall also be confiscated and perpetually revoked for the first conviction. The perpetual revocation of a driver’s license shall disqualify the person from being granted any kind of driver’s license thereafter.

The prosecution for any violation of this Act shall be without prejudice to criminal prosecution for violation of the Revised Penal Code, Republic Act 9165 and other special laws and existing local ordinances, whenever applicable.”

Furthermore, it bears stressing that the penalties imposed by the said law are without prejudice to criminal prosecution of RA 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002), special laws and other existing local ordinances, whenever applicable.

We find it necessary to mention that this opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or elaborated. We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter.

Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to dearpao@manilatimes.net

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