Quantcast
Latest Stories

No more mandatory drug tests, 2 senators insist

By

Sen. Gregorio Honasan: No mandatory drug test. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Two senators have asserted that the newly enacted Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013 (R.A. 10586) effectively repealed a provision in the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act (R.A. 9165) that requires driving license applicants to pass a mandatory drug test before the license is issued.

Sen. Gregorio Honasan said Section 19 of the new law signed last month specified that the mandatory drug test set by the old law as well as other orders, and circulars inconsistent with any of the new law’s provisions “are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.”

Honasan’s statement was apparently spurred by an announcement made by Land Transportation Office (LTO) chief Virginia Torres that the mandatory drug requirement remains in force until a set of implementing rules and regulations is issued.

Sen. Tito Sotto agreed with Honasan’s declaration, saying the mandatory drug test has become unnecessary and has even proved ineffective in the first place.

Sotto, former chairman of the Dangerous Drugs Board, said drug users applying for a driver’s license simply refrain from taking these for a time before submitting their urine samples.

In a huddle with reporters, Sotto said only 0.06% of all license applicants were found positive for drug use.

“The mandatory drug test has become a waste of money for motorists as well as an ineffective requirement. Data showed that out of millions tested a mere 0.06% resulted in positive results in the drug tests conducted by the Land Transportation Office covering the period 2002 to 2010,” Sotto said.

“The low figure could be due to the fact that drug users tend to refrain from usage during the period leading to the application for or renewal of their driver’s license. They are able to come clean during the drug test. It has led to a mockery of the drug test requirement,” he added.

Besides, Sotto said the mandatory drug test in fact was an added burden to responsible motorists, as they shell out money for something that drug users could easily get away with.

Applicants for a driver’s license are charged between P300 and P350 for the drug test.

Sotto’s observation reportedly drew protests from LTO officials who claim more than 6,000 license applicants were turned down after they tested positive.

Sotto countered that the new law on drunk and drugged driving requires apprehended drivers to pass certain tests if authorities observe that their behavior is consistent with substance abuse.

“RA 10586 states that drug testing will only be conducted for those driving under the influence (DUI) as determined by law enforcement authorities based on certain manifestations, like overspeeding, weaving, lane straddling, swerving and others,” Sotto explained.

“The law provides for mandatory tests for drivers involved in vehicular accidents to determine if they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs,” the senator pointed out.

“If the driver fails in the sobriety tests, it shall be the duty of the law enforcement officer to implement the mandatory determination of the driver’s blood alcohol concentration level through the use of a breath analyzer or similar measuring instrument,” he added.

Honasan said that contrary to the LTO’s position, “no interpretation is necessary” before the agency could do away with the mandatory drug test.

“All applicants are presumed innocent of the crime of attempting to drive under the influence of drugs, so to speak,” he said.

At present, penalties for driving under the influence or DUI range from three months in prison and a fine of P20,000 to perpetual revocation of the driver’s license, a fine of P500,000 and a longer prison term.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Driver’s License , drug tests , Gregorio Honasa , Philippines , Senate , Tito Sotto




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  2. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  3. Palace prepared to charge its allies
  4. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  5. Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  6. What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  7. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  8. Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  9. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  10. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  3. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  4. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  5. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  6. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  7. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  8. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  9. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  10. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  1. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  2. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  3. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
Advertisement

News

  • Obama: US will defend Japan vs China
  • Santiago accuses Lacson of fronting for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  • Name names, Lacson told
  • Ukraine FM: We are ready to fight Russia
  • Slain officer’s ‘diagram’ rocks PNP
  • Sports

  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • NLEX roars to 7th D-League win
  • Lifestyle

  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Denims that keep you cool–literally
  • 10 essential summer skin savers
  • Here’s your visual guide to all things cool, hot in summer fashion
  • Entertainment

  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • OMB exec’s assurance: We work 24/7
  • Business

  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Gaming stocks gain, PSEi eases on profit-taking
  • Cebu Pacific flew 3.74M passengers as of March
  • Corporate bonds sweeteners
  • Professionals in the family business
  • Technology

  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Opinion

  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • A graduation story
  • Global Nation

  • Afghan hospital guard kills 3 American doctors
  • Career diplomat is new PH consul general in Los Angeles
  • US4GG: Aquino should ask Obama for TPS approval, drone technology
  • Complex health care system for California’s elderly and poor explained
  • Tiff with HK over Luneta hostage fiasco finally over
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement