DOH to set alcohol limit for motorists | Inquirer News

DOH to set alcohol limit for motorists

With a new anti-drunk driving act signed into law, the Department of Health and other related agencies will now have to determine the specific threshold level for blood alcohol contents, according to Malacañang.

The Palace made this clarification in response to criticism that the absence of a specific alcohol limit in the new law could make its implementation open to abuse by traffic enforcers.

Palace spokesperson Abigail Valte said the law specifies that the blood alcohol threshold would be jointly established by DOH, National Police Commission and Department of Transportation and Communications.


“That can be put down in the IRR (implementation rules and regulations) because that is a medical fact it can be easily established … by the medical experts,” said Valte.


The anti-drunk driving law, which was authored in the House of Representatives by former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, sets stiffer penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol.

Valte denied that politics was behind the decision of President Aquino to do away with signing ceremonies which usually include the legislators who authored the new law.  “President Aquino has signed so many laws even without a ceremonial signing,” said Valte.

The main author of the bill in the Senate, Sen. Gregorio Honasan, said the law’s silence on the “maximum tolerable level” for alcohol consumption before a driver could be charged with DUI was not an oversight on the part of Congress but a space for “flexibility.” He said the threshold level for allowable alcohol consumption for drivers “varies.”

“(It’s) not necessarily the same for Filipinos, no matter what class,” said Honasan, when interviewed by phone.

The threshold will be set in the IRR, he reiterated.

In the United States, the allowable alcohol threshold level is .08 percent.


The Department of Health said on Friday it looked forward to participating in the drawing up of the new law’s implementation guidelines.

Assistant Health Secretary Eric Tayag said there was “need to calibrate the breath analyzers,” which would be used to measure a driver’s blood alcohol levels.

“That breath analyzer should be properly calibrated. It should be standardized,” he said on the sidelines of a press conference in Mandaluyong City on Friday.

He said under certain conditions, an analyzer could show a reading of low blood alcohol levels, when in reality it is the other way around, and vice versa. “Sometimes, … you only burp, and what comes out is that you have high blood alcohol levels (even if you have not been drinking),” he said.

Meanwhile, the country’s auto club lauded the signing of the law increasing penalties for drunk driving, saying it would reduce road accidents.

Before this law, the 48-year-old Land Transportation and Traffic Code punished drunk driving by a fine of only P500, noted Johnny Angeles, vice president of the Automobile Association of the Philippines (AAP).

Under the new Republic Act No. 10586, a driver found positive for alcohol consumption after being subjected to a breath analyzer could face three-month imprisonment, plus a fine of P20,000 to P80,000.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

If the violation resulted in physical injuries or homicide, the applicable provisions of the Revised Penal Code also apply together with increased fines. With reports from Niña P. Calleja and Kristine Felisse Mangunay

TAGS: motorists

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.