PRESS RELEASE

City of Long Beach 
Public Information Office
411 W. Ocean Blvd, 
Long Beach, CA 90802

11/5/2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # 110520
Subject:
City Awarded State Grant to Continue Drug-Impaired Driving Prevention Program
Contact:
Lara Turnbull
Acting Community Health Bureau Manager
Department of Health and Human Services
562.570.4294
Lara.Turnbull@longbeach.gov




Long Beach, CA - The Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services (Health Department) has been awarded a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS). The $191,040 grant will fund the City’s GreenlightLB Program to encourage responsible cannabis use and reduce drug-impaired driving related collisions.

Grant funds will be used to support a comprehensive approach to encourage responsible cannabis use and increase awareness about how mind-altering drugs, including those prescribed for medical purposes, can impair drivers. The grant funds will be used to support the following:

  • Youth-focused initiatives, including virtual presentations, to educate high school and college-age students on the consequences of driving while impaired.
  • Collaboration efforts with local bars, clubs and dispensaries to conduct education activities and implement an awareness campaign to reach high-risk populations.
  • Enhance awareness about drug-impaired driving through print and digital media resources and promote related efforts in coordination with Long Beach Safe Streets Awareness Week.

In addition, OTS funds will support opportunities to partner with the Long Beach Police Department “Know Your Limit” campaign and provide educational material to increase awareness that a DUI does not just mean alcohol. The grant also supports the annual GreenlightLB survey and data collection efforts, which measure changes to knowledge and behavior over time.

“People don’t often know that it’s illegal to drive under the influence of any substance that makes you feel different such as alcohol, cannabis or any potentially impairing drug, whether prescribed or over the counter,” said Health Department Director Kelly Colopy. “The efforts funded by OTS are critical to educating the public on the consequences of driving impaired and helping everyone make informed decisions that make Long Beach streets safer for all.”

This is the fourth year that the City has received an OTS grant to continue its drug-impaired driving prevention efforts. Last year, the Health Department used the funding to conduct a number of activities, including completing an annual citywide cannabis and health assessment, establishing the first annual Long Beach Safe Streets Awareness Week and hosting educational community workshops and pop-ups at intersections throughout Long Beach. 

Driving impaired by any substance, alcohol or drugs, whether legal or illegal, is against the law. Even in states like California where adult cannabis laws have changed, it is still illegal to drive under the influence of the drug. According to a 2018 report from the Governors Highway Safety Association, 44% of fatally-injured drivers with known test results tested positive for drugs. More than half of these drivers had marijuana, opioids or a combination of the two in their system.

“Drug-impaired driving is a significant traffic safety issue,” said OTS Director Barbara Rooney. “This grant program allows the City of Long Beach to educate the public on the dangers of driving impaired and the preventative actions all residents can take.”

For additional information about these programs, visit longbeach.gov/health.

About the City of Long Beach
Home to approximately 480,000 people, the multiple award-winning and innovative City of Long Beach offers all the world-class amenities of a large metropolitan city while maintaining a strong sense of individual and diverse neighborhoods nestled together along the California coast. As a full-service charter city, Long Beach is home to the Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific, several museums and theaters, a highly rated school district, Long Beach Airport and the Port of Long Beach. The City also has a highly respected university and city college, two historic ranchos, five hospitals, five golf courses, 171 parks, miles of beaches, marinas and bike paths.

For more information about the City of Long Beach, visit http://longbeach.gov/. Follow us on social to keep up with the latest news: FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

About the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services
The mission of the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services is to improve quality of life by promoting a safe and healthy community in which to live, work and play. Long Beach Health is one of only three city-run health departments in California, which allows for better engagement with residents, neighborhoods, businesses and community partners, and fosters a greater understanding of the City's strengths. For more information, visit us at www.longbeach.gov/health, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

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