Have you been drinking? Device to test traffic enforcersBy Nathaniel R. Melican
Philippine Daily Inquirer
“We will use a breath analyzer to test if they are really drunk,” Francis Tolentino, chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), told reporters Wednesday.
MMDA traffic personnel have been using breath analyzers or “breathalyzers” when checking the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of suspected drunk drivers through breath samples. The extent of their use, however, is not immediately known.
Normal BAC reading does not go beyond 0.05.
Starting today, traffic enforcers will be tested for drunkenness during their usual time-in and time-out routines at the MMDA headquarters on Edsa in Makati City, according to Tolentino. The agency has some 2,500 traffic enforcers.
The crackdown was based on a recommendation by Yves Gonzalez, head of the MMDA’s Traffic Discipline Office, after one of their enforcers was caught drunk while at work.
“We received a report, I think it was just [on Tuesday], that we had an enforcer who was apparently drunk and got involved in a brawl while on duty,” Tolentino said. He did not disclose details of the case.
He said the MMDA would use spare breathalyzers to check traffic enforcers before and after they would report for work.
“If someone tests positive for drinking alcohol, that enforcer will take another breathalyzer test, which, this time, will determine how drunk he is,” Gonzalez said.
Those found to be drunk will face disciplinary actions.
While drunk traffic enforcers are “very rare,” Tolentino said the tests would instill further discipline in them.
“These tests will remind our enforcers to concentrate while at their job and maintain the proper decorum,” he said.