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WisDOT receives $20,000 national award to help combat drugged driving

in Sirens/Wisconsin news

Funds will provide Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement training to 384 more Wisconsin law enforcement officers to help address the growing problem of drugged drivers

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Safety has been awarded a $20,000 national grant to help combat the growing problem of drugged driving, according to a DOT news release issued this week.

The funds will provide Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) training to 384 law enforcement officers across the state. Wisconsin is among five states to apply for and successfully receive an award from the national Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility.

According to the GHSA, in 2015, drugs were present in 43 percent of the fatally-injured drivers with known test results in the U.S. – appearing more frequently than alcohol. Between 2011 and 2015, nearly one-quarter of Wisconsin traffic fatalities involved people driving under the influence of drugs.

“Thanks to on-going public education and law enforcement efforts, we’re making progress when it comes to preventing alcohol-impaired driving, but Wisconsin and many states are seeing growing problems with drugged-driving especially due to heroin and other opiates” said David Pabst, Director of WisDOT’s Bureau of Transportation Safety. “This award will provide specialized training to even more Wisconsin law enforcement officers to help them better recognize and deter these dangerous driving behaviors.”

Of the approximately 12,300 state and local law enforcement officers in Wisconsin, 2,630 are currently ARIDE certified. With the national award, training classes planned across the state this year will boost that number to over 3,000 ARIDE-certified officers.

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