FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 12, 2016
Contact: Kara Macek, firstname.lastname@example.org
Funds help states train more officers to spot drugged drivers
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Drug-impaired driving is a growing threat on our roadways, and the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (Responsibility.org) are partnering to provide states with critical resources to combat this dangerous behavior. State Highway Safety Offices (SHSOs) are invited to apply for grants to increase the number of law enforcement officers certified to detect and evaluate drug-impaired drivers.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the proportion of fatally injured drivers (with known test results) who tested positive for drugs has increased over the past three years, up to 43% in 2015. And data from NHTSA's National Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drug Use by Drivers show the prevalence of drivers testing positive for potentially impairing drugs is on the rise, with the greatest increase seen in THC-positive drivers. Successful marijuana legalization ballot measures will likely contribute to a continued increase in these numbers.
One of the top recommendations in GHSA's 2015 report, Drug Impaired Driving: A Guide for What States Can Do, funded by Responsibility.org, was for states to provide drugged driving training for law enforcement, prosecutors and judges. Earlier this year, GHSA and Responsibility.org provided grants to Florida, Illinois, Nevada and Texas that trained more than 500 officers in the necessary skills to recognize and evaluate drug impairment during the course of a traffic stop.
"We are proud that this first year of training grants was able to contribute to such a significant increase in the number of officers equipped to combat drug-impaired driving on the roads," said GHSA Executive Director Jonathan Adkins. "This next round of funding will expand these efforts so that even more communities will be able to confront the growing threat of drug-impaired drivers."
The recent national increases in roadway fatalities show that highway safety professionals need to fortify their efforts to address all unsafe driver behaviors -- including drug-impaired driving -- through education and enforcement. This new round of funding will increase the number of officers on the front lines of these enforcement efforts with the skills they need to combat drugged driving.
In addition, through its partnership with Responsibility.org, GHSA will update its Drug Impaired Driving report in early 2017 to reflect the latest laws, data and research and highlight additional promising state programs.
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. GHSA provides leadership and representation for the states and territories to improve traffic safety, influence national policy, enhance program management and promote best practices. Its members are appointed by their Governors to administer federal and state highway safety funds and implement state highway safety plans. Contact GHSA at 202-789-0942 or visit www.ghsa.org. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GHSAhq or follow us on Twitter @GHSAHQ.
About the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility
The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (Responsibility.org) is a national not-for-profit that leads the fight to eliminate drunk driving and underage drinking and is funded by the following distillers: Bacardi U.S.A., Inc.; Beam Suntory Inc.; Brown-Forman; Constellation Brands, Inc.; DIAGEO; Edrington; Hood River Distillers, Inc.; and Pernod Ricard USA. For over 25 years, Responsibility.org has transformed countless lives through programs that bring individuals, families and communities together to guide a lifetime of conversations around alcohol responsibility. To learn more, please visit Responsibility.org or follow on social media: @goFAAR.