K’ Tonya Petrus, MPH, BHSA, serves as the Impaired Driving Coordinator for the Virgin Islands Office of Highway Safety (VIOHS) within the Virgin Islands Police Department. She began her journey with the Government of the Virgin Islands (GVI) in May 2017, transitioning from the private sector; she has analyzed and formulated scripts, training manuals, audits, and conducted strategic and organizational planning, risk assessment, and management.
In 2021, Ms. Petrus obtained a Master’s in Public Health from Benedictine University, Lisle, Illinois, with professional certifications from the National Society of Leadership and Success in 2020, and a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration from the University of Phoenix, Orlando, Florida in 2011.
Ms. Petrus is responsible for the management under the Impaired Driving program area. This program area is responsible for implementing initiatives on alcohol and drug impairments and fatigued and distracted driving. The expansion of community-based sub-recipient, program planning, grant development, budget development, oversight, and outreach.
The Impaired Driving Highway Safety Program promotes highway safety throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands and includes the successful development and implementation of targeted activities. The program supports a variety of strategies to target individuals driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs as well as fatigued and distracted drivers. Under this countermeasure strategy, the VIOHS Coordinator conducts Impaired Driving Enforcements to collaborate on outreach efforts territory wide.
Driving while impaired in the Virgin Islands is a danger and a concern for the community and law enforcement agencies; alcohol use while operating a vehicle increases the risk of crashes, serious injuries, and fatalities.
The efficient implementation of highway safety programs remains critical to the success of the VIOHS. Efforts to promote highway safety compliance through education, awareness, and the resulting reduction in incidences of impaired driving and related collisions have been key factors of assessing the effectiveness of the VIOHS. The inclusion of a coordinator to develop and facilitate activities geared towards mitigating the risks associated with impairments among motorists on the Territory’s highways supports the overall objective of the VIOHS’ mission.