By Bill Sullivan, Law Enforcement Liaison, Region 7

April 20 is recognized by the drug culture as a “get high” holiday. However, the festivities can have serious consequences. Studies have shown that traffic deaths increase 12 percent on that day.

To combat the trend, on April 19 and 20 law enforcement drug recognition experts joined the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Region 7 States and Oklahoma 420 Drug Impaired Driving Enforcement Campaign, “Drive High, Get a DUI.” Agencies throughout Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Arkansas and Oklahoma worked to crack down and educate the public on the dangers of drug impaired driving. Several press releases were sent to media outlets in those states to educate the public and warn them about the increased law enforcement presence.

The nationwide “Click it or Tickets” seatbelt enforcement campaign will run from May 20 through June 2. Join officers from all over the country as they save lives by increasing enforcement of seatbelt violations.

For further details on either of these campaigns contact the Missouri Traffic Safety Office at http://www.savemolives.com.

According to the NHTSA:

Many substances can impair driving, including alcohol, some over-the-counter and prescription drugs, and illegal drugs.

  • Alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs impair the ability to drive because they slow coordination, judgment, and reaction times.
  • Cocaine and methamphetamine can make drivers more aggressive and reckless.
  • Using two or more drugs at the same time, including alcohol, can amplify the impairing effects of each drug a person has consumed.
  • Some prescription and over-the-counter medicines can cause extreme drowsiness, dizziness, and other side effects. Read and follow all warning labels before driving, and note that warnings against “operating heavy machinery” include driving a vehicle.

Impaired drivers can’t accurately assess their own impairment – which is why no one should drive after using any impairing substances. Remember: If you feel different, you drive different.