The Study of Effectiveness, Public Awareness and Law Enforcement Officers’ Risk Perception in the Anti-Drug Driving Law in the area of Alaminos, Laguna
The Problem and Its Background
?There continues to be widespread concern among policymakers, law enforcement officers, and the general public regarding the potential detrimental effects of excessive illicit drugs consumption and abuse and associated social problems related to drugs, particularly drugged driving. Driving under the influence of illicit drugs is a social and legal concern in the Philippines, due to its association with injuries and deaths from traffic accidents.
?There have been extensive drug reviews, which have shown, impaired driving performance for a variety of drugs. Although impairment on driving related tasks can be shown for a drug, the extent that this impairment leads to auto accidents cannot be inferred without ascertaining the frequency that these drugs were found in drivers in general (Stewart, et.al.).
?To develop a better understanding of drug driving, the researcher intends to expand on previous researches that are related to drug and driving behavior. This study will be achieved by studying the awareness, measures of implementation and risk perception of anti-drug driving from the point of view of the law enforcement officers and the general public of Alaminos, Laguna. The study will increase understanding of drug driving, and assists to develop effective measures and education program in the area, thus hopefully will reduce accidents, injuries and costs resulting from drug driving. This study will give a better understanding and significant more work on the interactions of the people of Alaminos, Laguna. Finally, the researcher believes that this study will be beneficial in providing data to policymakers and will help the implementation and revision of anti-drug driving law.
1.2 Background of the Study
1.2.1 Drug Driving Offences
Republic Act no. 10586 entitled “An act penalizing persons driving under the influence of alcohol, dangerous drugs, and similar substances, and for other purposes” that was approved dated 28 January 2013. It stipulated that “The state shall penalize the acts of driving under the influence of alcohol, dangerous drugs and other toxicating substances and shall inculcate the standards of safe driving and the benefits that may be derived from it through institutional program and appropriate public information strategies..” it is an offense if a person is incapable of controlling any motor vehicle on a road under the influence of drugs. The law covers all kinds of drugs including those that are commonly used for medical purposes and illicit drugs.
?The law was subsequently amended on 17 August 2016. According to the reports from the Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group that despite the existence of a law prohibiting driving under the influence of alcohol and dangerous drugs, some drivers and motorists continue to disregard the law resulting to accidents, damage to property, injuries and for several instances death on the road. Thus, the road safety that is being advocated is put into naught.
?Back in 1964 it was very difficult to prove drug driving under Section 53 of Republic Act No. 4136 an act to compile the laws relative to land transportation and traffic rules, to create a land transportation commission and for other purposes. Because it did not provide police the legitimate power to engage and test a drug driver through drug analysis of blood or other body fluid specimens. On the other hand, there were no objective standards stipulating the kinds of neither drugs nor the prescribed dosage in determining whether a person is fit to drive. If a driver was suspected to be under the influence of drugs, the police officer would only request the suspected driver to participate in a screening breath test to ensure the suspected driver had not consumed a level of alcohol exceeding the allowed limit. The police officer would also ask the suspected driver whether he had taken drugs or not. A vehicle search would be the third step taken by the police officer to ascertain whether the driver was in possession of any dangerous drugs. Police officers would make an arrest if there were probable cause based on his assessment and ordinance gathered.
?The Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs announced on 11 December 2012 a preliminary proposal to tackle drug driving in order to improve road safety. The committee set up on 22 December 2012 to consider the said issue.
?On 27 September 2016 a house bill sponsored by Representative Marlyn L. Primicias-Agabas seeking to impose stiffer penalties on persons caught driving under the influence of alcohol, dangerous drugs, and other similar substances got the approval of the House committee on transportation. In her explanatory note, the author noted that road accidents caused by drunk and drugged driving rose from 390 in 2013 to 498 in 2014 based on data from the Philippine National Police’s Highway Patrol Group. They also noted a Metropolitan Manila Development Authority report saying that driving under the influence remains one of the leading causes of accidents in the country from January to July 2015. House Bill No. 5 would amend Section 12 of Republic Act (RA) Number 10586 or the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013. RA Number 10586 makes it unlawful for any person to drive a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, dangerous drugs, and similar substances.
Table 1.1 Number of arrested persons and prosecution figures in Alaminos, Laguna for drug driving before and after the new legislation from 2010-2017.
*Note. Combined Data from LTO Region IV-A LETAS MIS Monthly Report and Consolidated Police Report of Alaminos PNP from 2010-2017.
1.2.2 Test for Suspected Drug Drivers?
While drug driving has long become socially unacceptable and subject to heavy fines and strict enforcement in many countries, the Philippines has been lagging behind a little bit when it comes to keeping drivers under the influence of alcohol and other drugs off the roads. As the name suggests, the act covers a huge variety of drugs, ranging from cannabis and cocaine, over MDMA (Ecstasy), methamphetamine hydrochloride (Shabu) and Heroin (and its substitute Methadone), to substances that can be found in certain prescription drugs, such as diazepam (Valium), meaning it’s potentially not only illegal drugs that can land in trouble. That is stipulated in Section 3 (d) of RA 10586 that covers the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotics Drugs (as amended by the 1972 Protocol), and the schedules annexed to the 1971 Single Convention of Psychotropic Substances, which are both mentioned as the basis for all drugs covered by this act. The law is very clear that an enforcer must have probable cause to believe that driving under the influence of dangerous drugs before he can stop a suspect. Probable Cause can include over-speeding, weaving, lane straddling, sudden stops, swerving, poor coordination or any signs of use of dangerous drugs and other similar substances, as well as other “apparent indications and manifestations”. There is of course some room for interpretation as to what exactly constitutes Probable Cause under the act. Once probable cause has been established, you will be subject to a field sobriety test, which at the moment will include: The Eye Test. The officer will instruct the driver to follow a moving object such as a pen or the tip of a penlight held in front of his face and will then look for, the involuntary jerkiness of the eyes. A sober person should be able to follow the object smoothly, while a person under the influence of alcohol or other drugs may display a noticeable jerkiness in the eye movement. The Walk-and-Turn: The driver is required to walk heel-to-toe along a straight line for nine steps, turn at the end, and return to the starting point without any difficulty. The One-Leg Stand: This requires the driver to stand on either right or left leg with both arms on the side. The driver is then instructed to keep the foot raised about six inches off the ground for thirty seconds.
?If a law enforcement officer believes a driver is not be drunk, but instead thinks it is driving under the influence of any of the other drugs covered by this act, then it is LEO’s duty to subject to a drug screening test and, if necessary, a drug confirmatory test. Refusal to undergo the mandatory field sobriety and/or drug tests will result in the confiscation and automatic revocation of driver’s license, in addition to other penalties provided by the act and any other applicable laws. LTO officers, and properly deputized officers of the MMDA, PNP and various LGUs, will very likely carry out checks on a rolling basis. The LTO is also instructed under the act to conduct random terminal inspections and quick random drug tests of public utility drivers. Even if not driving a car, the owner of the vehicle can be held liable for the fine and the award against the offender for civil damages, unless convincingly prove that exercised extraordinary diligence in the selection and supervision of the drivers in general and the offending driver in particular.
1.2.3 Publicity and Education
?The government has put an effort into publicity and education after the 2013 amendment of the legislation. The LTO, PNP, MMDA launched a variety of campaigns to publicize the message of combating drug driving in order to achieve comfort and safety in land travel. The parties worked together to enhance public awareness of anti-drug driving.
Numerous public activities were launched to educate the public as follows:
1. Conducted Information and Education Campaign on R.A. No. 10586, nationwide.
2. Conducted the First LTO Deputized Agents Orientation Seminar For The Enforcement of R.A. No. 10586 on June 18, 2013 with 100 participants from LTO, PNP, MMDA and Tollways (NLEX, SCTEX, TPLEX , Cavitex and Skyway).
3. Conducted the Second LTO Deputized Agents Orientation Seminar Workshop For the Enforcement of Anti-Drunk Driving Campaign under R.A. No. 10586 from March 10, 11 and 12, 2014 with 130 participants from LTO (Central Office and Regional Offices), PNP, MMDA and the Tollways (NLEX, SCTEX, TPLEX, Cavitex and Skyway).
4. Conducted two (2) LTO Deputation series of Seminars for MMDA Constables for the Enforcement of R.A. 10586.
5. Conducted roadside Anti-Drunk Driving Campaign and Operation.
6. Inclusion of the topic relative to R.A. No. 10586 on seminars and written examinations for driver’s license applicants.
7. Coordinated with Regional Police Offices for the deputation of their Traffic Police Officers as well as to discuss each agency’s role in observing the proper procedure for apprehension.
8. Inclusion of topic relative to R.A No. 10586 on the Traffic Safety Management Seminars for Drivers being conducted by LTO Nationwide.
1.2.4 Amended New Offence?
Section 12 of RA 10586 discussed the penalties to be given to the offenders. On 2016 the law was amended for the second time to provide a stiffer penalty to the delinquents. The table below will show the difference in terms of penalty between the two versions of RA 10586 for a person convicted of dangerous drugged driving.
Table 1.2 Comparison of penalties of 2013 and 2016 version of RA 10586.
*The nonprofessional driver’s license of any person found to have violated Section 5 of this Act shall also be confiscated and suspended for a period of twelve (12) months for the first conviction and perpetually revoked for the second conviction. The professional driver’s license of any person found to have violated Section 5 of this Act shall also be confiscated and perpetually revoked for the first conviction. The perpetual revocation of a driver’s license shall disqualify the person from being granted any kind of driver’s license thereafter.
?In view of the above the researcher were prompted to determine loopholes of this act, through this study as well as that the effectiveness and the degree of public awareness in anti-drug driving law. In addition to this, it is also the intention of the researcher to discover the problem encountered by the LEO in conducting the anti-drug driving operations.
1.3 Theoretical Framework
?Theories of crime and punishment are an important part of this research. Like other modern jurisdictions across the world, drug driving as a crime has been a serious matter of concern among the general public of Alaminos, Laguna. The legislation combating drug driving effect on 28 January 2013 and was a response to the public concern over drug driving. In general, drug driving legislation aims to authorize, regulate and provide sanctions for those who commit offenses. In fact, many theories view crime as a consequence of defective social regulation. The idea of this study is closely linked indissolubly with the study of Emile Durkheim.
?In this study the researcher will try to apply deterrence theory to explain how the drug driving laws affects the driving behavior in Alaminos, Laguna. Apart from the deterrence theory, are there any other theories that will fruitfully help the researcher?
?Deterrence theory relies on three major components; severity, certainty and celerity Gibbs (1975). The three (3) components might help the researcher to measure the affectivity of the current drug driving law in Alaminos, Laguna. According to Peterroster (2010) deterrence theory with more severe punishment will lead to a lower criminal rate. The concept of severity comes into drug driving law, the researcher aims to measure if the drug driving law can daunt people in committing drug-driving offenses. Certainty and celerity of the legislation are also considerations. This will examine the certainty of risk and perceptions when an LEO is conducting operations and will determine the awareness among the local that being an offender will realize that crime does not pay. In order to find out the answer, the researcher will need to further examine the severity of the drug driving legislation by conducting qualitative research. ?
1.4 Conceptual Framework
?This study will be inclined to determine the study of effectiveness, public awareness and law enforcement officers’ risk perception in anti-drug driving law in the area of Alaminos, Laguna. To form part of the discussion, the hereunder paradigm is presented which consists of input, process and output. The input deals with the profile of the respondents, the assessment of the effectiveness and public awareness as viewed by the local and the risk perception of LEO in drug driving operations. The process deals with the methods used by the researchers in collecting data, coupled with necessary statistical treatment of data, while the output deal with the proposed program or activity that can aide policymakers for policy development and will assists law enforcement officer in conducting drug driving operations.
1.5 Statement of the Problem
?This study aims to measure the effectiveness, determine the public awareness, and LEO’s risk perception in the rules and regulations set by anti-drug driving law in Alaminos, Laguna. Specifically, this study seeks to understand the following question:
1. What is the demographic profile of the respondents when grouped according to:
• Civil Status
• Educational Attainment
• Length of Service
• License Card Holder
2. How effective is the implementation of anti-drug driving in the Alaminos, Laguna?
3. What is the level of public awareness of anti-drug driving law in terms of publicity and education?
4. What are the risk perception of the law enforcement officers in terms of the following:
• Preliminary Provisions
• Procedure for apprehension
• General Provisions
• Testing Equipment
?Despite the prevalence of ADD law, there have been few rigorous empirical examinations of the effectiveness of this act. This paper aims to contribute to this debate. The study is driven by the following hypothesis:
Hypothesis 1: There is no significant difference on the problems encountered by the respondents on drug driving when grouped according to their profile variable.
Hypothesis 2: The implementation of drug driving law in Alaminos, Laguna is not successful.
Hypothesis 3: There is no significant difference on the respondent’s awareness in terms of education and publicity when grouped according to their profile variables.
Hypothesis 4: There is no significant difference on the respondent’s risk perceptions on anti drug driving operations when grouped according to their profile variables.
1.7 Scopes and Limitation
?This study will mainly focus its attention into three aspects, such as; effectiveness of execution of this act and public awareness as perceived by the community and the challenges faced by LEO’s in conducting anti-drug driving in Alaminos, Laguna.
?This study aims to gather data pertinent to ADD operation in Alaminos, Laguna. More so, the researcher will only include 30 LEO such as LTO Operation Laguna Division and Alaminos PNP who are engaged in ADD activities. 400 Residents of Alaminos, Laguna will also take part in this study as the respondents.
?This study focuses on anti-drug driving law in Alaminos, Laguna in the period of 2012-2018. This study will not include other drug related campaigns not related to driving.
1.8 Significance of the Study
?The researcher aims to assess the policy from different perspective. For many years, the efforts of traffic safety advocates have been quite rightly focused on alcohol impaired driving. Drug driving is an issue that now requires serious attention. This research is a pioneer study in Alaminos, Laguna. Findings from this study will provide insights from the stakeholders on this issue. The imitations and difficulties of the research topic will be identified after the analysis with the formulation of recommendations for policy development and proposed activity for law enforcement officers. This study will be beneficial to the following:
? For LEO (LTO, PNP and LGU deputized officers), as an organization it will help in addressing risk and facing challenges to attain the agency’s goals and be reflected on their overall performance as a whole.
? For the Community, they will gain awareness about ADD and deterrent effect to drive under the influence of drugs.
? For the Policymakers, the result of this study will give them discernments about limitations and difficulties in the enactment of ADD.
? For the Researcher, to comply with requirements and to gain more knowledge about safe driving.
? For the Future Researcher, it will contribute new knowledge and will serve as a major breakthrough for further study about ADD.
1.9 Definition of Terms
1. Chemical tests refer to breath, saliva, urine or blood tests to determine the BAC level and/or positive indication of dangerous drugs and similar substances in a person’s body.
2. Drugs Screening test refers to a rapid test performed to establish potential/presumptive positive result on the presence of dangerous drugs in a person’s body.
3. Driving under the influence of dangerous drugs and other similar substances (DUID) refers to the act of operating a motor vehicle while the driver, after being subjected to a confirmatory test as mandated under this Act, is found to be positive for use of any dangerous drugs.
4. Drug Recognition Evaluator (DRE) refers to a Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) trained and deputized by the LTO to conduct the Drug Recognition Protocol.
5. Drugs Confirmatory Test refers to an analytical test using a Gas-Chromatography-Mass Spectroscopy (GCMS) to validate and confirm the result of a Drug Screening Test.
6. LEO refers to law enforcement officers of the LTO or authorized officer trained and deputized by the Land Transportation Office to enforce to enforce the provisions of this Act.
7. Dangerous drugs and other similar substances refer to drugs listed in the schedules annexed to the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotics Drugs, as amended by the 1972 Protocol, and in the schedules annexed to the 1971 Single Convention of Psychotropic Substances as enumerated in its attachment which is an integral part of Republic Act No. 9165, otherwise known as the “Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002” and those that the Dangerous Drugs Board may reclassify, add to or remove from the listed of dangerous drugs.