LSP; drug-impaired driving is an increasing danger on roads

Published 9:12 am Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Drug-impaired driving has become an increasing danger on our nation’s roads. In recent years, several states have created new laws allowing marijuana on a recreational or medical basis, which has made discussing the impaired-driving issue even more important. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) wants all marijuana users to know that nationally, it is illegal to use marijuana and then drive.
On the 20th of April (also known as 4/20 — a term associated with marijuana use) many marijuana users will observe a day of increased marijuana use. Louisiana State Police and NHTSA wants to remind all drivers: If You Feel Different, You Drive Different. It is dangerous and illegal to drive impaired. Read on for more information about the dangers of drug-impaired driving.
• If you’re planning to use marijuana, do not drive. Designate a driver who won’t be using marijuana or use other safe and sober methods to get home safely. Someone who’s high shouldn’t be making decisions about driving; that’s why planning ahead is key.
• If you think driving while high from marijuana won’t affect you, you’re wrong: It has been shown that marijuana can slow reaction times, impair cognitive performance, and make it more difficult for drivers to keep a steady position in their lane.
• According to NHTSA, between 2009 and 2018, of those drivers killed in crashes and tested for marijuana, the presence of marijuana had nearly doubled.
• In 2018, 46% of drivers who were killed in crashes and were tested for drugs tested positive.
• It doesn’t matter what term you use: If a person is feeling a little high, buzzed, stoned, or wasted, he or she is impaired and should never get behind the wheel.
• In every U.S. state and territory, it is illegal to drive under the influence of drugs — no exceptions.
• Whether the drug is legal or not, drug-impaired driving poses a threat to the driver, passengers, and other road users.
Louisiana State Police reminds motorists to always avoid driving while impaired on any substance; whether it be alcohol, illegal or prescription drugs, over-the-counter medication, or any other substance that impairs your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. If you observe an impaired driver, contact your nearest LSP Troop by dialing *LSP (*577).