Motoring News

How many breathalyzers will the government need?

To enforce anti-drunk driving law


As we earlier reported, Republic Act 10586--or the \"Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013\"--will be implemented before the end of the year. Since the act calls for the acquisition of \"sufficient breath analyzers within four months\" from the law\'s effectivity, we had to ask how the government plans to supply the entire country with the necessary equipment needed to enforce the law.

According to the Department of Health\'s Dr. Clarito Cairo Jr., who is part of the technical working group developing the law\'s implementing rules and regulations, the plan is for each precinct nationwide to be equipped with at least one breathalyzer unit. And with approximately 3,000 precincts throughout the country, that means the government needs to buy 3,000 breathalyzers.

\"We\'re currently accepting bids from different countries to supply the breathalyzer,\" shared Cairo. \"The most expensive is the one from the United States, which costs around P70,000, but it\'s also the most advanced, with Bluetooth capability and the ability to print the result.\" If you do the math, that amounts to P210 million for 3,000 breathalyzers.

In comparison, the breathalyzer the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority currently has--and which we used for a story in our September 2012 issue--reportedly costs around P30,000. Do the math again and that\'s P90 million for the same number of breathalyzers.

Cairo also stressed that the Act doesn\'t automatically grant national and local traffic enforcement officials the authority to enforce the law. Instead, they first have to be deputized by the Land Transportation Office and undergo training seminars on how to conduct the field sobriety and breath analyzer tests.


So, if everything goes as planned, we\'ll have to start looking for a designated driver for the year-end Christmas parties.

Photo by Dairy Darilag

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