NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The state Department of Transportation Office of Highway Safety was awarded a $22,000 grant to fight an uptick in impaired driving.
With the funding from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and Responsibility.org, the state will conduct a “green lab,” which involves giving volunteers a controlled dose of cannabis and in some cases a combination of alcohol and cannabis.
Law enforcement officers will then perform a series of sobriety tests with the volunteers to witness the impairing effects the substances have.
“Summer is traditionally a deadly season for impaired driving, so this traffic safety grant is extremely timely,” said Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner Joe Giulietti. “This grant will help bolster the ability to deter and detect impaired drivers in Connecticut by providing law enforcement the tools to identify alcohol- and drug-impaired drivers. Expanded testing is critical for protecting all roadway users.”
The training will help officers better detect cannabis, resulting in more impaired and dangerous drivers being taken off the roadways.
“Alcohol and drug use increased during the pandemic and we know that many individuals are also getting behind the wheel. It’s tragic and incredibly frustrating to see impaired driving crashes – which are preventable – kill people every day,” said GHSA Executive Director Jonathan Adkins. “We’re proud to continue our longstanding partnership with Responsibility.org to fund countermeasures to advance law enforcement detection, expand critical toxicology lab capabilities, and support the screening, assessment, and treatment of impaired drivers.”
Connecticut is one of five states to receive funding from GHSA to combat this issue.
To learn more about the grant, click here.