Many of those who drink, and are drunk, rarely admit that they are drunk. A person’s sobriety — or, on the reverse, level of drunkenness — may be the subject of harmless, fun discussion during the drinking session, but it’s a thorny issue when it comes to arresting that person, and throwing him/her in jail, for drunk driving. So, the Department of Transportation and Communication (DoTC), with its battery of experts, decided that there are THREE ways to initially check if you’re sober (or drunk). The 3 Field Sobriety Tests are:
Also called the “horizontal gaze nystagmus”, this refers to horizontal or lateral jerking of the driver’s eyes as he or she gazes sideways following a moving object such as a pen or the tip of a penlight held by the LEO from a distance of about one (1) foot away from the face of the driver.
This requires the driver to walk heel-to-toe along a straight line for nine (9) steps, turn at the end and return to the point of origin without any difficulty.
One-Leg Stand Test
This test requires the driver to stand on either right or left leg with both arms on the side. The driver is instructed to keep the foot raised about six (6) inches off the ground for thirty (30) seconds.
Now, go practice. ALL of it. If you fail ANY of the three tests, the apprehending officer will proceed to test your alcohol blood level. The acceptable BAC (meaning, the Blood Alcohol Concentration, not the Bidding and Awards Committee) depends on what vehicle you’re driving:
1. Private motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight not exceeding 4500 kg — a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05% or higher shall be conclusive proof that said driver is driving under the influence of alcohol.
2. Motorcycles — drivers should have 0.0% alcohol in their blood. Say that again: NO ALCOHOL.
2. Trucks, buses and public utility vehicles — also 0.0% blood alcohol concentration.
Penalties include jail time. Moral of the story? DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE. [See full text of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act, and the full text of Republic Act No. 10586, also known as the “Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013“]