Marijuana laws are changing constantly across the country. One thing that hasn’t changed is the legalities behind impaired driving. Thursday, April 20, 2023, marks the unofficial marijuana “holiday,” and there will likely be an increase in marijuana use. To help keep drug-impaired drivers off the roads, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is teaming up with Newton Police Department to spread the message that drug-impaired driving is dangerous and illegal. NHTSA wants to remind all drivers: If You Feel Different, You Drive Different.
In 2019, 49% of drivers who were killed in crashes and were tested for drugs, tested positive. This is why it’s so important we spread this lifesaving message: If You Feel Different, You Drive Different. If you think being high won’t affect your driving, you’re wrong. It has been proven that marijuana can slow reaction times, impair cognitive performance, and make it more difficult for drivers to keep a steady position in their lane.
Those who plan to use marijuana on 4/20 (or any day) should not drive. If you find yourself drug-impaired and stranded with your vehicle, give your keys to a sober driver who can safely drive you home or to your next stop. Remind your friends to never get in the vehicle with an impaired driver. If you have a friend who is about to drive while high, take the keys away and help them get home safely. Don’t worry about offending someone — they’ll thank you later.
Thanks to technology and community messaging, there are plenty of options to help impaired drivers get home safely. If available, use your community’s sober ride program [Insert your local sober ride program specifics here]. If you see an impaired driver on the road, do not hesitate to contact the Newton Police Department.
By working together, we can save lives and help keep America’s roadways safe. Please join NHTSA in sharing the lifesaving message, If You Feel Different, You Drive Different. For more information on impaired driving, check out the NHTSA resources.