Dec 11 2020
Washington—The Senate last night passed a resolution introduced by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) marking December as “National Impaired Driving Prevention Month” to help raise awareness about alcohol- and drug-impaired driving in the United States.
“This year marks the 20th anniversary of the 0.08% blood alcohol concentration law, which I helped enact” said Senator Feinstein. “While this law has helped reduce alcohol-impaired driving, nearly 30 Americans still die every day from drunk driving. Drug-impaired driving, which rose by 8 percent from 2018 to 2019, is also a growing danger on our roadways. We must do more to support research on drug-impaired driving and promote the development of new technologies, including testing systems, to prevent and detect it.”
The resolution is endorsed by the following groups: We Save Lives, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, National Association of Drug Court Professionals, Governors Highway Safety Association, Students Against Drunk Driving, Coalition for Ignition Interlock Manufacturers, International Association of Chiefs of Police, Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America, Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, National Safety Council, Intoxalock, Alcohol Detection Systems and National District Attorneys Association.
The full text of the resolution follows:
Designating December 2020 as “National Impaired Driving Prevention Month''.
Whereas, in 2018, the most recent data available, the United States recorded 10,511 deaths from drunk driving, of whom 231 were children aged 14 and under;
Whereas, in 2018, 29 percent of all fatal motor vehicle crashes involved alcohol-impaired driving;
Whereas, between December 16, 2020, and January 1, 2021, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and partnering State and local law enforcement agencies will engage in high visibility mobilization to prevent impaired driving;
Whereas, in 2018, 42 percent of all impaired driving cases evaluated by drug recognition experts found multi-substance impairment, according to the International Association of Chiefs of Police;
Whereas, in 2019, nearly 20,000,000 people aged 16 and older in the United States drove under the influence of alcohol;
Whereas, in 2019, nearly 13,700,000 people aged 16 and older in the United States drove under the influence of cocaine (including crack), heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, methamphetamine, or marijuana, which is an 8 percent increase compared to 2018;
Whereas the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that new technologies that prevent alcohol-impaired drivers from operating vehicles can save 9,000 lives per year and that driver assistance systems, which help prevent human errors on the road, can potentially reduce the number of crashes and their severity;
Whereas, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the use of ignition interlock devices prevented more than 3,000,000 attempts of alcohol-impaired driving between 2006 and 2018; and
Whereas the National Transportation Safety Board included ending alcohol and other drug-impaired driving on its Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements for 2019–2020: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate—
(1) commends the efforts of law enforcement agencies and officers to enforce impaired driving laws;
(2) supports national and State high visibility enforcement campaigns, such as Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over;
(3) recognizes the need for greater research on how drugs affect and, in some cases, impair an individual’s ability to operate a motor vehicle;
(4) recognizes that technological solutions have the potential to save thousands of lives each year;
(5) supports programs to better collect data on impaired driving, including data on illicit drug use by drivers;
(6) supports programs to train law enforcement officials on detecting and stopping impaired driving; and
(7) designates December 2020 as “National Impaired Driving Prevention Month”.