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Des Moines, Iowa 50319
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For immediate release: Alex Murphy
  Public Information Officer
Iowa Department of Public Safety
May 9, 2016 amurphy@dps.state.ia.us
(515) 443-3014 - cell
(515) 725-6189 - office

Iowa GTSB Forms Impaired Driving Coalition

DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau (GTSB) recently formed the first-of-its-kind-in-Iowa, Impaired Driving Coalition, in light of the seriousness of impaired driving across the state.

The Impaired Driving Task Force includes members of the Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the DPS’s GTSB, the DPS’s Division of Criminal Investigation Criminalistics Laboratory, Department of Corrections, Department of Transportation, Department of Public Health, Department of Human Rights, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Attorney General’s Office, city, county and state law enforcement officers and private partners.

The GTSB has asked the Coalition, which includes many different perspectives and experiences, to review existing Iowa data, laws, regulations and programs and propose a coordinated statewide impaired driving plan for preventing and reducing impaired driving behavior.

The purpose of the statewide impaired driving plan is to provide a comprehensive strategy for preventing and reducing impaired driving, based on coordinated efforts designed to reduce deaths and increase public safety. The plan will eventually be submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for approval.

The GTSB has established a new award in honor of Officers Susan Farrell and Carlos Puente-Morales. Officer Farrell and Officer Puente-Morales were killed in the line of duty by an impaired driver who was driving the wrong direction on I-80.

The Farrell/Puente-Morales Award will be presented annually at the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau Conference to a law enforcement agency that has displayed a strong emphasis on addressing impaired driving throughout the year.

All agencies that have a GTSB contract will be reviewed by GTSB staff and one agency will be selected as the award recipient by reviewing their enforcement, education or public awareness efforts in the fight against impaired driving.

The deaths of Officers Farrell and Puente-Morales will not be forgotten and will be the impetus for all Iowans to push for new innovations and initiatives to eliminate impaired drivers once and for all from Iowa’s roadways. Effective enforcement efforts can save lives and make our communities safer and stronger, and these efforts are worthy of public recognition.

Media Contact: Alex Murphy, Public Information Officer, Iowa Department of Public Safety, (515) 443-3014 or amurphy@dps.state.ia.us.

 

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