Posts Tagged ‘drunk driving


Drunk Driving In The Philippines

(First published in November 2008)

Mayor Duterte has urged lawmakers to hasten the enactment of a law that will penalize drunk driving. I believe this is long overdue as countless lives and limbs have already been lost due to drunk driving. And our present laws are a joke. We even have more vigilant laws for seat belts.

I would bet that at 4 am on a Saturday night (technically Sunday morning) almost all the cars on the road are driven by drunk drivers, and yet no one gets apprehended unless they are involved in an accident or a traffic violation (the latter being highly unlikely as there are no more traffic enforcers at this hour).

However, in the interest of fairness to all, I believe we must first have a legal definition of Drunk Driving or Driving Under the Influence (DUI). Should we follow the US standard of 0.08% Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) in the breathalyzer? Or, if for lack of budget for equipment, should we use more subjective methods instead like observing the driver for impairment of reflexes?

By the way, it takes only 3-4 bottles of 350 ml light beer to raise a 160-lb person’s BAC to 0.09% – already a DUI in the US. Three to four bottles of San Mig Light. Or three to four 44-ml shots of hard liquor. That’s all it takes to get a DUI.

Now how about drug testing on drivers involved in accidents? Is it fair, or more importantly, is it conclusive? I mean, drug tests detect the metabolites for the parent drug, right? And while the drug itself gets flushed out in a few days, some metabolites stay in the body and can be detected for up to 30 days or more. And ironically, some drugs take about 6-8 hours before they show up on a test. So what does a positive drug test prove? It proves that the person being tested used drugs sometime between the last 30 days and 6-8 hours ago. So a person who last used drugs 2 weeks ago but had been sober ever since can test positive, whereas a person who did not use drugs in the last 30 days but used only 1 hour ago – at the peak of his high – can test negative. I think we need to have more effective and conclusive tests in order for justice to be served.

Back to drunk driving, I would like to share an idea. It’s actually a business idea which I should be keeping to myself for potential profit,  but in the interest of public safety I would like to share this to all in the hope that many will venture in it soon.

It’s called Dial-A-Driver. It’s similar to calling for a taxi or RoadWatch, but instead of a cab or tow truck, a motorcylce arrives with two people on board. One of them drives your car with you in the back seat and the other follows on the motorcycle to later give your new chauffeur a ride back to their station after he has properly parked you car in your own garage. Open for annual membership. Accepts credit cards. When you’re no longer sober enough to drive, call 1-800-Dial-A-Driver, and we’ll drive you home.


Attempts at uncovering the underlying simplicity beneath apparently complex concepts as well as the core complexity within seemingly straightforward issues

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