SPRINGFIELD — Illinois is one of five states to receive a federal training grant from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility to combat drug-impaired driving. The grant, to be administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation, will fund 10 Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) classes statewide. This is the second year Illinois has received the funding.
“We are gratified to be awarded this important funding again this year,” said Priscilla Tobias, director of IDOT’s Office of Program Development and the Governor’s Highway Safety representative from Illinois. “Impaired driving deaths in Illinois are down compared to a decade ago, but recent years have shown an uptick in fatalities, demonstrating the problem is far from being solved.”
The ARIDE program trains law enforcement officers to detect impairment caused by more than just alcohol. The advanced training will help officers identify drug-impaired drivers that otherwise could have been pulled over but not arrested because warning signs were missed.
The total grant amount is $20,000. The Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board Mobile Team Units will conduct 10 classes at 10 different locations to give access to law enforcement agencies in every region of the state. Each class will train up to 25 officers.
The ARIDE curriculum was developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, with input from the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police. Since 2009, more than 1,300 officers have received ARIDE training in Illinois.