The Walsh Group (TWG) Homepage
Traffic Safety

TWG has been investigating the dangers of drug-impaired drivers for over a decade. We are currently focusing on the issue of driving under the influence of drugs (DUID). We have on-going efforts in three areas: 1) legislation and policy, 2) laboratory and field studies, 3) deterrence and detection programs.

Image Provided By Victorian Government
A rapid saliva drug test in use on the road

TWG staff have considerable experience conducting studies on drug per se laws, police drug recognition training, and measuring the prevalence and demographics of drivers operating vehicles under the influence of drugs. In one pivotal study, TWG conducted a state-by-state analysis of DUID statues in the United States in collaboration with The American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Substance Abuse with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Reports from this study have been widely distributed and are considered seminal references on state DUID laws. In a series of recent studies, TWG has examined the epidemiology of alcohol and other drug use among motor vehicle crash victims admitted to a major trauma center. TWG has also conducted numerous studies regarding the feasibility of using on-site drug testing drives (primarily urine and saliva) at the roadside to assist police officers in detecting drugged rivers.

Image Provided By Greater Manchester Probation Service
A saliva collection device

The Walsh Group has published more than 25 articles covering various aspects of the drugged driving issues in the last 12 years.

Field research


ROSITA PROJECT – ROSITA [Roadside Testing Assessment] is a collaborative effort between the United States and the European Union to assess new drug detection devices for use by police to identify drivers operating motor vehicles under the influence of drugs. Police in four U.S. states [FL, UT, WI, and WA] and six European countries [Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Norway, and Spain] are involved in the project. The Walsh Group is coordinating the U.S. effort and Dr. Alain Verstraete at the University of Ghent in Belgium coordinates the EU efforts. The project is supported by ONDCP, NIDA, NHTSA, and the European Union.

Hillsborough County Police’s BATmobile, utilized in
the ROSITA project, tests drivers for alcohol
and drug-impairment.

Maryland Shock Trauma – TWG has conducted a series of emergency room and trauma studies to assess the prevalence of illegal drugs in trauma admissions. Our focus has been on motor vehicle crash victims: drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Our findings have been published in a series of articles appearing in a number of peer-reviewed journals [e.g. Traffic Injury Prevention and Accident Analysis and Prevention].

Group Matching Project- The Walsh Group is conducting a major research project to examine the experience of substance abusers seeking assistance from self-help treatment groups. A recent TWG survey achieved a response rate of more than 1000 individuals, and the responses led to the development of a new treatment assessment instrument that should make it easier for treatment professionals to match substance abuse treatment clients with the most appropriate support groups during treatment and aftercare. We believe this will significantly increase the likelihood of a successful treatment outcome for each client. The development of supporting educational materials and clinical trials of our new assessment instrument are planned for the near future.

Drug Recognition Training Evaluation – TWG developed an interactive training program to assist police in identifying drivers under the influence of drugs. In collaboration with the Tampa Police and the Hillsborough County Sheriffs Office we conducted an evaluation of the training with a 4-month follow up study to examine the effectiveness of the training. The results of this study demonstrated the value of the training and were published by the International Council on Alcohol, Drugs, and Traffic Safety.

Drug Free Workplace Training Evaluations – TWG has developed CD based interactive supervisory training programs explaining the concepts and requirements of the federal drug free workplace regulations. This program has been evaluated in several federal and corporate workplaces

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