At the end of 2018, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) announced that five states and one U.S territory received funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to help law enforcement officers address the problem of drug-impaired driving. Kentucky is one of the states to receive the drugged driving grant. The other grant recipients include Delaware, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Guam.
Drugged Driving in Kentucky
The problem of drugged driving may be underreported in Kentucky and throughout the United States. While police officers know that driving under the influence of drugs is a serious problem, there is no easy way to test for drugged driving, as there is for drunk driving.
Yet, driving under the influence of drugs is just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol. A driver who is under the influence of marijuana, for example, may make slower decisions, have a delayed reaction time, and have difficulty driving safely. This can result in dangerous crashes, serious injuries, and tragic fatalities.
What the New Drugged Driving Grant Will Do
During 2019, Kentucky is expected to use the GHSA NHTSA grant money to train more officers to recognize the signs of drivers who are impaired by drugs such as marijuana and opioids. Law enforcement officers will be taught how to observe drivers for signs of drug use and how to identify signs of drug use. Specifically, more police officers will be trained in Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) and Drug Recognition Expert (DRE).
We hope that the grant helps officers identify and arrest drug-impaired drivers on Kentucky roads so that other motorists can stay safe. However, even with the additional training, Kentucky officers can’t catch every drugged driver.
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