TEWKSBURY POLICE AWARDED STATE GRANT TO INCREASE IMPAIRED DRIVING PATROLS

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“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Campaign Urges Drivers to
Plan Ahead for a Sober Ride

The Tewksbury Police Department will increase impaired driving patrols on local roads with grant funds from the Highway Safety Division of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) Office of Grants and Research (OGR). Tewksbury Police will join 140 other local police departments across the state in the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement mobilization and public information campaign. Impaired drivers threaten the safety and lives of everyone around them. This grant will allow us to increase the number of patrols dedicated to identifying, stopping and removing drivers who are impaired by any substance.

“The most important responsibility of anyone behind the wheel is to drive safely,” said Jeff Larason, Director of the OGR Highway Safety Division. “As summer vacation turns into back-to-school season, it’s important that motorists take seriously their responsibility to stay sober and alert.”

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.

The Tewksbury Police Department urges any citizens who suspect criminal activity to call the Dispatch Center @ 978-851-7373. If you wish to remain anonymous please call the Tip Line @ 978-851-0175 or send an email to tewks_detectives@tewksbury-ma.gov .

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