Senator Grace Poe said it would not be long before the country’s traffic enforcers get armed with breathalyzers to detect drunk drivers following the Senate’s adoption of her proposal to allot P20 million for their purchase in the 2020 budget.
“You can have as many trained traffic enforcers on the road, but without the breathalyzers, their hands are tied in effectively apprehending violators,” Poe said.
If there’s an accident and the driver was drunk, the traffic enforcer could not say the driver reeked of liquor. That would not stand in court, she added.
Breathalyzers are instruments that test the alcohol level of motorists.
The findings obtained from the breathalyzers could be the missing piece to a successful prosecution of drunk drivers, Poe said.
Earlier, Poe stressed that road safety programs needed resources for logistics and equipment to be effective.
Poe made the push to have an appropriation for the purchase of the equipment after finding out from the Department of Transportation about the absence of the budget for road safety programs for next year.
The Metro Manila Development Authority, in charge of managing traffic in the metropolis, only has a handful unit of breathalyzers that they use in the field.
“There has to be money for breathalyzers because they could prevent drunk drivers from plying the highways and causing mishaps that could endanger lives,” Poe said.
Poe said having breathalyzers was also in compliance to Republic Act 10586 or the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013.
The law states that the Land Transportation Office and the Philippine National Police shall acquire “sufficient breath analyzers” for the use of law enforcers and deputized local traffic enforcers nationwide, such as the MMDA.
“We cannot be in a situation in which we cannot enforce the law because we lack the equipment,” Poe said, expressing optimism that the P20-million budget she pitched would see through the final copy of the budget law.
The Senate and the House of Representatives are currently deliberating to come up with the final version of the 2020 budget to be submitted to Malacañang for the President’s signature.