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WYDOT receives grant to prevent high-risk impaired driving

WYDOT receives grant to prevent high-risk impaired driving
WYDOT receives grant to prevent high-risk impaired driving(WABI)
Published: Jul. 14, 2020 at 10:45 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Release) - Summer is traditionally the deadliest season for impaired driving and with road traffic levels in Wyoming 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. 

For the sixth consecutive year, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (Responsibility.org) are awarding grants to several states to support efforts to keep roadways safe from impaired drivers.

“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.” 

According to Karson James, WYDOT Highway Safety Behavioral Grants Program Manager, the grant funds will be used to benchmark toxicology best practices and improve toxicology training. “Testing for impairing drugs is critical for uncovering motorists’ substance use problems, which is central to the individualized justice approach. Failure to test undermines impaired driving prevention. Wyoming’s goal is to develop an accredited toxicology unit that can provide confirmatory analysis necessary for court cases.”

Wyoming is receiving $35,000 to increase the testing abilities of the DCI Toxicology Lab. For more information on the grants and previous state program results, visit https://www.ghsa.org/resources/partner-initiatives/FAAR

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