Illinois Awarded Federal Funds to Help Crack Down on Drug-Impaired Drivers

SPRINGFIELD-The Governor’s Highway Safety Association and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility has awarded the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) a special grant to conduct ten Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) classes statewide. Illinois is one of only four states, along with Texas, Florida and Nevada, to receive such funding.

The ARIDE program trains law enforcement officers to detect impairment caused by more than just alcohol. The advanced training will help officers identify drug-impaired drivers that otherwise could have been pulled over but not arrested because warning signs were missed.

“We are thankful for the opportunity to expand this crucial training throughout our state,” said Priscilla Tobias, director of IDOT’s Office of Program Development and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative from Illinois. “This funding will greatly increase law enforcement’s ability to spot drug-impaired driving and, in turn, reduce instances of crashes and fatalities caused by impaired driving on our roads.”

The total grant amount received by each state is $20,000. In a cost-saving effort, IDOT has partnered with the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board to establish mobile classrooms to teach the ten classes throughout the state that will train up to 25 officers per class.

The ARIDE curriculum was developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, with input from the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police.

Since 2009, the ARIDE program in Illinois has trained almost 900 local law enforcement officers and Illinois State Police troopers to better detect drug-impaired drivers and keep them off the road.

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