WASHINGTON, D.C., 08/31/2020 – Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) announced its strong support for the proposed, bipartisan Drug-Impaired Driving Act of 2020 authored by Representatives Kathleen Rice (D-NY-4) and Troy Balderson (R-OH-12).
“Too many Americans do not realize that driving under the influence of cannabis or prescription medication impairs their ability to operate a vehicle safely, so efforts to bolster information, education and enforcement is something we can all celebrate, ” said Michelle Korsmo, President and CEO, Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America. “WSWA remains steadfast in fighting impaired driving in all forms and commends Representatives Rice and Balderson for their leadership and commitment to the public on the health and safety of all Americans.”
The proposed legislation would provide $5,000,000 in grants to States that would cover the cost of public education campaigns designed using evidence and strategies as found in the “Marijuana Use and Highway Safety” report published in May 2019 by the Congressional Research Service, “Countermeasures That Work: A Highway Safety Countermeasure Guide for State Safety Officers, Nineth Edition, 2017: report published in April 2018 by the National Highway Safety Administration or other evidence-based, peer-reviewed strategies as determined appropriate by the Secretary of Transportation. If passed the grant program would go into effect no later than one year after the date of passage.
“When someone under the influence of drugs or alcohol gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, entire communities are put at risk. 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,” said Balderson.
“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,” said Rice. “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. I'm proud to have the support of the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America on this bill and I'm grateful for their ongoing advocacy. We must keep working together until we can end impaired and distracted driving once and for all.”