Punishment for drunk driving

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Dear PAO,
Is drunk driving punishable? If so, what are the penalties? Is it also necessary that there be damage to another person? Thank you and more power.
Donald

Dear Donald,
Pursuant to Section 5 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 10586, otherwise known as “Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013,” driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, dangerous drugs and/or other similar substances is an unlawful act. The essence of this law is the protection of life and property as well as the promotion of the general welfare by encouraging drivers to submit to a certain degree of ethical driving standards.

The criminal liability under R. A. No. 10586 attaches the moment a person drives a vehicle under the influence of the said substances. In fact, it can be gleaned from the very provision of Section 5 that it makes no distinction as to whether or not it is necessary that there be damage to another person before the offender can be penalized. Furthermore, Section 12 of the said law specifically provides that, the penalty of three months imprisonment, and a fine ranging from Twenty thousand pesos to Eighty thousand pesos shall be imposed on the offender if his act did not result in physical injuries or homicide. If the same 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 to Two hundred thousand pesos shall be imposed. If the act resulted in homicide, the penalty provided in Article 249 of the Revised Penal Code and a fine ranging from Three hundred thousand pesos to Five hundred thousand pesos shall be imposed on the offender.

In addition, the nonprofessional driver’s license of the offender will be confiscated and suspended for a period of twelve months, if it is his first conviction. Should it be his second conviction, the said license shall be perpetually revoked. If the offender is a holder of a professional driver’s license, the same shall be confiscated and perpetually revoked even on his first conviction.

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