Reps. Rice, Balderson introduce impaired driving bill

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U.S. Reps. Kathleen Rice (D-NY) and Troy Balderson (R-OH) have introduced legislation that would create awareness of drug-impaired driving.

The bill, the Drug-Impaired Driving Education Act of 2020, would establish a $5 million federal grant program that states could use to educate the public on the dangers of drug-impaired driving.

According to the representatives, drug-impaired driving was a factor in nearly 11,000 traffic deaths in 2018.

“Despite common misconceptions, drug-impaired driving is just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol, and that’s why this bill to expand public education and awareness is so important,” Rice said. “I’ve been working on these issues for my entire career, and I have seen the immense pain and tragedy that they can cause far too many times… We must keep working together until we can end impaired and distracted driving once and for all.”

The bill has the backing of Responsibility.org, Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA), National Safety Council (NSC), National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), and the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA).

“When someone under the influence of drugs or alcohol gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, entire communities are put at risk,” Balderson said. “Sadly, this is a fact we know all too well in the state of Ohio, where the opioid epidemic runs rampant. This legislation takes critical steps to educate our communities about the risks associated with drug-driving impaired, including those driving under the influence of opioids and marijuana.”

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