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The original item was published from 1/10/2020 1:05:00 PM to 1/10/2020 1:13:53 PM.

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Posted on: January 10, 2020

[ARCHIVED] LAWRENCE POLICE AWARDED GRANT TO REDUCE IMPAIRED DRIVING

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Chief Roy P Vasque

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Lawrence MA - The Lawrence Police was awarded a grant from the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security’s () Office of Grants and Research (OGR) to increase the number of impaired driving patrols. Lawrence police will join other departments across the state and the State Police in the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over (DSOGPO) enforcement mobilization.

“These funds will be extremely helpful as we increase selective enforcement operations throughout the City. These operations will focus primarily on impaired drivers, but will also include seat belt enforcement, as well as enforcement of the new distracted driving law which goes into effect on February 23rd. I am grateful to the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security’s  Office of Grants and Research for making these funds available to the City of Lawrence.”- Chief Roy Vasque

 “Arranging for a sober ride home before celebrating should be a part of everyone’s plans,” said Jeff Larason, Director of the OGR Highway Safety Division. “We want all drivers to recognize the responsibility they have to drive safely and to avoid getting behind the wheel if they’re impaired. Remember - If you feel different, you drive different.”

Massachusetts Data (2013-2017):

  • Marijuana was the most prevalent drug found in drivers involved in fatal crashes.

  • 11 percent of drivers involved in fatal crashes were found with both alcohol and drugs in their system.

  • 78 percent of impaired drivers in fatal crashes were men.

  • 35 percent of drunk drivers involved in a fatal crash were 21-29 years old.

  • The number of drivers involved in a fatal crash who were alcohol-impaired (BAC .08+) and had drugs in their system increased by 63 percent (35 to 57).

  • From 2016 to 2017, alcohol-impaired driving fatalities decreased by 19 percent (148 to 120).

    National Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

  • Approximately one-third of all traffic crash fatalities in the United States involve drunk drivers. On average, more than 10,000 people have died each year (2013 to 2017) in drunk-driving crashes. To put it in perspective, that’s equal to about 20 jumbo jets crashing each year, with no survivors.

  • In 2017, one person was killed every 48 minutes by a drunk driver on our nation’s roads.

  • In 2017, almost one in five children (14 and younger) killed in traffic crashes were killed in drunk-driving crashes. Fifty-four percent of the time, it was the child’s driver who was drunk.

  • Drugs were present in 43 percent of the fatally-injured drivers with a known test result in 2015, more frequently than alcohol was present.

  • NHTSA’s 2013–2014 roadside survey found drugs in 22 percent of all drivers both on weekend nights and on weekdays.

  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects—slows reaction times, impairs cognitive performance, and makes it more difficult for drivers to keep a steady position in their lane.

  • Mixing alcohol and marijuana may dramatically produce effects greater than either drug on its own.
                                                                                                                         ***Media Note***
    Impaired crashes are not “accidents.” We urge media to follow the AP Stylebook, which suggests avoiding the word “accident” in reference to negligent, drunk or drugged crashes.

    For more information on the Office of Grants and Research’s impaired driving enforcement grant program or to view the accompanying “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” TV ads, please visit http://www.mass.gov/drivesober.



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