GREAT BARRINGTON — Impaired driving patrols have increased in town thanks in part to grant funding from the state.
Great Barrington Police Department was awarded a $7,500 grant from the state Executive Office of Public Safety and Security’s Office of Grants and Research to increase the number of impaired driving patrols, according to Police Chief William Walsh Jr. The state Office of Grants and Research oversees the distribution as well as the administration of grants. It also conducts criminal justice-related, anti-drug and violence prevention education, and law enforcement and traffic safety research.
“Arranging for a sober ride home before celebrating should be a part of everyone’s plans,” said Jeff Larason, director of the OGR Highway Safety Division, in a statement. “We want all drivers to recognize the responsibility they have to drive safely and to avoid getting behind the wheel if they’re impaired. Remember – If you feel different, you drive different.”
From 2013 to 2017, the most prevalent drug found in drivers involved in fatal crashes in Massachusetts was marijuana, according to the NHTSA. Despite the proliferation of marijuana enterprises in the Berkshires, Walsh says that Great Barrington in particular has not seen a surge in impaired drivers that have marijuana in their system.
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