One beer is not worth it

Earlier this morning, EDSA boss, Col. Edison “Bong” Nebrija, shared an account of an accident that involved a motorcycle and a van along the stretch of EDSA. Allegedly, the rider of the motorcycle was intoxicated and crashed into the back of a moving Toyota Hiace van.

Luckily, no one was injured except for the motorcycle rider who was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital. Unfortunately, however, for the driver of the Hiace, he now has to think about repairs for an accident he didn't cause. It was completely avoidable on the part of the motorcycle rider.

It is still unclear if the motorcycle rider can shoulder the damage he caused, like the rider who was allegedly racing along Marilaque and crashed into an oncoming vehicle on the other side of the road. The damages easily exceeded PhP100,000.

Punishment and fines

For those who still think that booze (or prohibited drugs) won't interfere with motorcycle riding, think again.

Since 2013, the Philippines has a law prohibiting the operation of a motor vehicle if the driver is under the influence of alcohol or prohibited drugs, which is Republic Act 10586 or the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013.

According to this law, a person who operates a private vehicle with a gross weight not exceeding 4,500 kg must not have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05% and above.

As an example, consuming at least 2 bottles of SMB Light within an hour would raise your BAC to 0.05%. Drinking more would mean higher BAC. For PUV drivers or riders, the limit is 0.00% BAC, or ZERO blood alcohol whatsoever.

If a driver or motorcycle rider is found to have at least 0.05% BAC, RA 10586 imposes stiff penalties for the erring motorist, including jail time and revocation of their driver’s license – for life.

If the motorcycle rider or driver is found to be driving under the influence after being subjected to a breathalyzer, field sobriety, or clinical test, especially if he or she got involved in an accident, the penalty is 3 months imprisonment plus a fine of up to PhP80,000.

If the accident due to riding or driving while intoxicated results in physical injuries, the penalty provided in Article 263 of the Revised Penal Code is imprisonment or a fine of up to PhP200,000 shall be imposed.

If the accident resulted in the death of another road user or pedestrian, the penalty includes prison time and a fine of up to PhP500,000.

Additionally, if the rider or driver possesses a non-professional driver’s license, it will be confiscated by the authorities and is subject to a 1-year suspension. A second offense will merit a perpetual revocation of the non-professional driver’s license. For those who possess a professional driver’s license, it is going to be an automatic perpetual revocation of the driver’s license (DL).

Comprehensive motorcycle rights bill

Just 5 days ago, senator, Manny Pacquiao, filed Senate Bill (SB) 2263 or the Motorcycle Rights and Safety Act of 2021. If it becomes a law, Section 12 of SB 2263 mandates that there will be an automatic revocation of a motorcycle rider’s DL if found to be operating his or her motorcycle while under the influence of alcohol or prohibited drugs.

Don’t drink and ride

Drinking alcoholic beverages and driving a vehicle don’t mix well, all the more when riding a motorcycle, where balance and presence of mind is critical.

If it can’t be helped, there are a few ways to avoid riding while intoxicated:

1. Sleep over

Whatever the celebration is, if you're going to drink, don't ride your motorcycle. It is much better if you sleep it off at the celebrant’s or a friend's house until the next morning.

2. Ride a taxi

Unlike before, booking a taxi cab is easier these days, thanks to app-based booking services like Grab or Awto. So, don’t risk it, ride a taxi home and return to your motorcycle some other time to bring it back home.

3. Don’t drink at all

If you’re riding a motorcycle, do not drink at all. Don't think of it as being a KJ (kill joy), you’re just playing it safe and don’t want to end up in the hospital or graveyard.