Representatives Cohen and Rice Introduce Multiple Substance Impaired Driving Prevention Act
MEMPHIS – Representatives Steve Cohen (TN-09) and Kathleen Rice (NY-04) today introduced the Multiple Substance Impaired Driving Prevention Act to address an under-reported cause of many serious and fatal vehicle accidents. The measure would increase investment in technologies for detecting multiple-substance impairment and improve reporting on the phenomenon. Senator Shelley Moore Capito, Republican of West Virginia, plans to introduce a companion measure in the Senate.
Congressman Cohen made the following statement:
“Impaired driving is not just alcohol-related, as a variety of new studies have established, and we need the resources to address this under-reported cause of too many traffic injuries and deaths. I’m pleased to be working with Congresswoman Rice on this commonsense legislative remedy that will improve driving safety and save lives.”
Congresswoman Rice made the following statement:
“As District Attorney, I combatted drunk driving by strengthening New York’s DWI laws and working with local law enforcement to improve prevention, prosecution, and education efforts. But communities in America need further resources to truly meet the challenge of keeping our roadways safe, especially with the prevalence of today’s impaired drivers combining alcohol and drugs before getting behind the wheel. That’s why I’m proud to join Representative Cohen in cosponsoring the Multiple Substance Impaired Driving Prevent Act, which will provide local communities with the tools and support they need to help end impaired driving and the terrible tragedies it causes.”
Statements from supporting groups endorsing the bill:
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)
“Mothers Against Drunk Driving thanks Representatives Cohen and Rice for their leadership in the fight to eliminate drunk and drugged driving. Impairment caused by alcohol and other drugs is dangerous and deadly, and the risks only increase with consumption of combinations of drugs,” said MADD National President Alex Otte. “The legislation introduced today would lead to investments in technology that will save lives by identifying and monitoring impaired drivers and helping to keep repeat offenders off the road.”
The National Safety Council
“Impaired driving continues to be one of the leading causes of death and injury on our roadways, and data showed an increase in the number of drivers who tested positive for multiple impairing substances in 2020,” said Lorraine Martin, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “This legislation will ensure funds are spent on programs and technology to better identify, report, monitor, and treat impaired drivers. NSC is proud to support this bill, and we thank Representatives Cohen and Rice for their leadership.”
Distilled Spirits Council of the United States and Responsibility.org
“DISCUS and Responsibility.org applaud Rep. Cohen’s and Rep. Rice’s leadership on the Multiple Substance Impaired Driving Prevention Act of 2021,” said President and CEO of DISCUS and Responsibility.org Chris Swonger. “We are grateful for their work to prevent impaired driving and for their introduction of this vital legislation which would increase the national investment in programs and technology that eliminates multiple substance impaired driving — we are confident this bill will save lives, if passed, and encourage other members to show their support for this legislation.”
Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA)
“The Multiple Substance Impaired Driving Prevention Act of 2021 Act will help state highway safety offices leverage cutting-edge solutions to address multi-substance impaired driving, such as drug recognition training, new toxicology tools, and new technologies,” said Jonathan Adkins, Executive Director of the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). “After a year of unprecedented increases in fatal traffic crashes including many involving drivers impaired by multiple substances, GHSA encourages Congress to invest in new approaches that can prevent these crashes and save lives.”
Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD)
“Today, SADD and our 400,000 student members from across the country applaud the Multiple Substance Impaired Driving Prevention Act as forward progress in curbing the public health crises that is impaired driving. For four decades, SADD has worked to empower teens, engage parents, mobilize communities, and change lives on this subject. SADD students call upon Congress to swiftly act on this measure, a piece of legislation that will save lives and take an additional step to reduce harm and injury on our roadways for us all.” -- Rick Birt, President & CEO, SADD.
The Beer Institute
“Having the most accurate and up-to-date information on impaired driving is essential to making sound public policy,” said Jim McGreevy, president and CEO of the Beer Institute. “The Beer Institute supports the Multi-Substance Impaired Driving Act because it will provide the federal government the ability to improve the data it collects and give law enforcement agencies access to improved testing and training to keep our roads safe from drivers impaired by drugs and alcohol.”
National District Attorneys Association
“The National District Attorneys Association (NDAA) is proud to support the Multiple Substance Impaired Driving Prevention Act introduced by Congressman Steve Cohen and Congresswoman Kathleen Rice. This legislation takes steps to reduce fatalities on our Nation’s roadways by increasing the resources and tools available to the traffic safety community to promote safe driving practices and hold bad actors accountable. Prosecutors across the country continue to take steps alongside our law enforcement and community partners to keep our roads safe and we thank the bill sponsors for joining with us in this important effort.” -- Nelson Bunn, Executive Director, National District Attorneys Association
National Sheriffs Association
“Impaired driving enforcement is crucial to stop the murder-in-progress on our roads and highways by impaired drivers. Over 10,000 people die each year at the hands of impaired drivers and this legislation provides tools to stop impaired driving before it can occur.” -- Sheriff John Whetsel (ret), NSA Traffic Safety Committee Chair.