DES MOINES, IA — Marijuana laws are changing across the country. What hasn’t changed are the legalities behind impaired driving. In Iowa, recreational consumption and possession of cannabis is illegal. On April 20, also known as ‘420’, there may be an increase in cannabis consumption. To help keep drug-impaired drivers off the road, the Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau is partnering with law enforcement to remind drivers; drug-impaired driving is dangerous and illegal. If You Feel Different, You Drive Different.
In Iowa, from 2020-2022, preliminary data shows 36% of impaired driving fatalities involved drug use. If you think being high won’t affect your driving, you’re wrong. It has been proven marijuana can slow reaction times, impair cognitive performance, and make it more difficult for drivers to stay in their lane.
GTSB’s Todd Olmstead, coordinator for Iowa’s Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) Program, says, “High, stoned, or wasted: it doesn’t matter what term you use, if you are impaired, do not get behind the wheel. Our DRE Experts assist local law enforcement in the detection of drug-impaired drivers. If you think you can get away with driving high, you’re mistaken.”
Those who plan to consume cannabis on ‘420’ (or any day) should not drive. If you find yourself drug-impaired and stranded with your vehicle, give your keys to a sober driver. If you have a friend who is about to drive high, take the keys and help them get home safely.
By working together, we can save lives and help keep Iowa’s roads safe.