The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (Responsibility.org) are awarding grants to help states keep Americans safe from the most dangerous impaired drivers.
The 2020 grant awards will fund seven states – Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Washington and Wyoming – with a total of $210,000 to support enhanced identification and assessment of alcohol and drug impaired drivers. GHSA will also receive $35,000 to educate State Highway Safety Offices and law enforcement agencies throughout the United States about state oral fluid test pilot programs.
Summer is traditionally the deadliest season for impaired driving, and risks are expected to be particularly high this summer as states reopen bars, restaurants and other hospitality establishments following the COVID-19 shutdowns. With road traffic levels returning to pre-pandemic levels, and the pandemic’s impact on mental health and economic anxiety, experts believe this is a critical time to support efforts to keep impaired drivers from getting behind the wheel.
“Vehicle miles traveled fell drastically during the pandemic, but that decline didn’t result in improved safety on our nation’s roadways,” said GHSA Executive Director Jonathan Adkins. “Alcohol and drug impaired driving persisted, with prevention experts warning the problem may worsen as people continue to worry about contracting the virus, recover from the economic fall-out and adhere to social distancing requirements. All are triggers for substance use making this grant program even more important.”
This is the sixth consecutive years that the GHSA and Responsibility.org have awarded state grants to help combat impaired driving.
“Last year over 10,000 people in the United States died in preventable impaired driving crashes. It is an honor to support innovative state efforts to address alcohol, drug and multi-substance impaired driving and remove high-risk impaired drivers from the roadways,” said Dr. Darrin T. Grondel, Responsibility.org’s Vice President of Traffic Safety and Government Relations.
For more information on the grants and previous state program results, visit ghsa.org/resources/partner-initiatives/FAAR