Commissioner Gonzalez-Sanchez Announces $1 Million Federal Grant

Grant to Reduce Impaired Driving Caused by Alcohol or Drugs and Improve Highway Safety

ALBANY, NY (10/25/2011)(readMedia)-- New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) acknowledges there is nearly one alcohol-related fatality every day in New York State. Today, Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez is pleased to announce that the agency has been awarded a one-year Federal grant totaling $1,087,905 to reduce impaired driving caused by alcohol or drugs with the overall goal of improving highway safety.

The grant is to fund the continuation of the ACTION To RIDE (Addictions Collaborative to Improve Outcomes in New York to Reduce Impaired Driving Effectively) project, and was awarded to OASAS by the New York State Governor's Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) on October 1, 2011 through federal funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The project focuses on addressing substance use disorders as the underlying cause of impaired driving offenses by providing individuals who are charged with this crime, the appropriate intervention, assessment, and treatment services. The grant will also strengthen partnerships among the professionals who serve these individuals and improve their linkages to other systems of care.

OASAS Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez said, "OASAS is committed to keeping roadways safe by assuring high quality service to individuals charged with or convicted of an impaired driving offense. This federal funding will help us continue to prevent impaired driving caused by alcohol or drugs, provide individuals with the help they need for substance use problems, and make New York State's roadways safer."

The ACTION to RIDE project represents a collaborative effort with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to standardize services and improve communication linkages with advanced technological solutions, ultimately reducing impaired driving and improving the safety of all roads and highways in New York State.

DMV Commissioner, Barbara J. Fiala said, "We are pleased that OASAS will be using this grant to improve highway safety by working with those who pose a danger on our highways because of alcohol or substance abuse problems. We wish the staff every success with this project and look forward to the positive effects its implementation will have for all those who share our roadways."

Impaired driving is a public health and safety concern for all New Yorkers. According to DMV, there were a total of 4,676 impaired driving related crashes in 2009. More than 6,800 New Yorkers were injured in alcohol-related crashes, and more than 300 fatalities were due to alcohol-related accidents – equal to nearly one alcohol-related fatality every day in New York State.

ACTION to RIDE project has achieved three groundbreaking initiatives to establish and sustain higher quality services for impaired drivers and enhanced tracking and monitoring ability to support outcome measures. These achievements include:

• Implementation of New York State's first evidence-based, standardized Drinking Driver Program (DDP) curriculum;

• Development and implementation of the first clinical guidelines and statewide mandatory training program for all clinicians who are approved to provide screening and assessment services to individuals charged with an impaired driving offense; and

• Development for two web-based applications: the Impaired Driver System (IDS) and Impaired Driver Classroom (IDC).

OASAS oversees one of the nation's largest addiction services systems dedicated to Prevention, Treatment and Recovery, with more than 1,550 programs serving over 110,000 New Yorkers on any given day.

For more information, please visit