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Poe wants P20M for PNP, LTO to buy breathalyzers

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Traffic enforcers may soon get armed with breathalyzers to “detect” and apprehend drunk drivers.

That is if Sen. Grace Poe’s proposal to purchase P20 million worth of breathalyzer units is approved by the bicameral committee finalizing the P4.1 trillion 2020 national budget.

Breathalyzers are instruments that test the alcohol level of motorists.

“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.

“Kung may aksidente at lasing ang driver, hindi p’wedeng sasabihin lang ng enforcer na amoy alak ang driver. Hindi ito titindig sa imbestigasyon o sa korte,” she said.

The Senate had already adopted Poe’s proposal to allot P20 million for the purchase of the said equipment.

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.

“The objective findings that can be 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 need resources for logistics and equipment to be effective.

She pressee for a budget for the purchase of the equipment after she found out from the Department of Transportation (DoTr) that it lacks funds for road safety programs for next year.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), which is 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.

She said that the use of breathalyzers is mandated is mandated under Republic Act 10586 or the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013.

The law states that the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) should 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.

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