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Press Release

DHHS Issues Brief: Impaired Driving in NH
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Publish Date:
September 8, 2014

Concord – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services (BDAS) is issuing “Impaired Driving in NH” the sixth in a series of issue briefs highlighting concerns related to alcohol and other drugs in New Hampshire. This Brief shares not only data, but resources and strategies available to community stakeholders to assist in reducing the public safety threat of impaired driving. The release of the Brief coincides with a statewide Impaired Driver Symposium being held on September 11, 2014 at the Grappone Center in Concord, NH.

“Impaired driving is a public safety threat that requires collaboration and a comprehensive approach”, stated DHHS Drug and Alcohol Service’s Director Joe Harding. “To this end we have improved our laws, transformed our rehabilitation system, have recently made substance use disorders treatment available to low income citizens of our state and are now striving to improve communication and collaboration between state agencies, members of the criminal justice system and service providers”.

According to the New Hampshire Department of Safety, there were 4,763 DWI convictions in 2013, and 32 people died in motor vehicle crashes related to alcohol in 2012, an increase of 19% compared to 2011. Alcohol is not the only problem on New Hampshire’s roadways. Law enforcement have seen an increase in other drug impaired driving, reflected in fatal crash data, that shows that there were 27 drug-related motor vehicle fatalities in 2012, representing 25% of
all motor vehicle related fatalities.

"Impairment continues to be the leading cause of fatal car crashes, and it is our continued goal to work on messaging, education and enforcement in hopes of preventing a tragedy," said New Hampshire State Police Colonel Robert Quinn.

A state-wide Impaired Driver Symposium is being held September 11th at the Grappone Center in Concord to enhance collaboration between law enforcement, courts, substance use disorder service providers and license restoration through the New Hampshire Department of Safety. The symposium provides an important opportunity for stakeholders and policy makers to continue to improve public safety and health outcomes for New Hampshire residents.

The brief provides strategies and resources for communities, professionals, and the public to learn more about Impaired Driving in New Hampshire and what they can do. To read Impaired Driving in NH visit www.dhhs.nh.gov/dcbcs/bdas/, www.drugfreenh.org, and www.nhcenterforexcellence.org.

 
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