Grants worth more than $86,000 have been awarded to three US states for initiatives to combat alcohol, cannabis and multiple-substance impaired driving.

Funding from a partnership – now in its tenth year – between the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), and the National Alliance to Stop Impaired Driving (NASID), will support projects in Colorado, Idaho and Missouri to improve their ability to detect impaired drivers and remove them from the road.

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), data drunk driving deaths have risen from 10,142 in 2019 to 13,524 in 2022 – a 33 per cent increase in just three years.

Drug and multiple substance-impaired driving is also said to be a growing safety concern. NHTSA statistics show more than half (56 per cent) of people injured or killed in crashes on US roads tested positive for alcohol and/or drugs between 2019 and 2021.

“Our law enforcement partners across the country are doing everything they can to address impaired driving and make our roads safer, but they face an incredible challenge and need our support,” said GHSA Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Adkins.

“GHSA’s decade-long partnership with and NASID helps provide law enforcement with the resources they need to identify impaired drivers, making our roads safer for everyone.”

In Colorado, where more drivers are reported to be refusing to provide a breath or blood sample after DUI arrests, the Colorado Department of Transportation and the Colorado Task Force on Drunk and Impaired Driving will use the grant funding to raise awareness of the consequences of refusing a toxicological test.

In Idaho, the Transportation Department Office of Highway Safety, in collaboration with the North Idaho DUI Task Force, is using grant funding to enhance the number of trained Drug Recognition Expert officers and phlebotomists in the region.

While in Missouri the funding will be used to help police learn to better recognize the signs of cannabis impairment.