2018 PH drunk-driving figures will leave you scratching your head

This has to change
by Drei Laurel | Oct 3, 2018
PHOTO: Drei Laurel

Last night, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) gave members of the motoring media an update regarding the state of the country’s fight against drunk drivers—and it isn’t looking good.

Statistics provided by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) show that between January 1 and June 30, 2018, a measly 100 motorists were apprehended for violating Republic Act 10586, or driving while under the influence of alcohol or dangerous drugs and similar substances.

We showed the abovementioned figure to a fellow motoring journalist. His thoughts? “You could easily double that number with one night in Metro Manila.” It’s a hasty generalization, but one we’re certain many motorists will agree with. This is especially true for drivers who often ply city streets in the wee hours of the morning.

It gets worse: The 100 apprehensions above only refer to first-time offenders. How many were caught driving under the influence a second time? Just one. Let that sink in for a moment.

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The situation becomes more of a head-scratcher when you realize authorities are actually equipped to enforce the anti-drunk driving law. Since 2015, the government has bought and issued 756 breath analyzers. What’s more, 818 LTO, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel have been deputized to handle the situation since 2016.

It’s a grim picture, to say the least. Hopefully, the government is as alarmed as we are. What do you have to say about these numbers?

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PHOTO: Drei Laurel
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