Drug and Alcohol Impaired Driving

If you feel different, you drive different. Driving while impaired by any substance is dangerous. Impaired driving happens when someone drives a vehicle under the influence of a substance like marijuana other illegal drugs, prescription or over the counter medicines, or alcohol.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), on average, more than 10,000 people are killed each year in crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. The Nebraska Highway Safety Office says, in Nebraska, one person dies every three days from an alcohol-related crash. Drunk driving is not only against the law, it is a matter of life and death.

Both drunk driving and drug-impaired driving is illegal in the United States, and in Nebraska. Drugged driving is on the rise in Nebraska. 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.

Someone feeling a little high, buzzed, stoned, or wasted, should not get behind the wheel. Think driving while high isn’t dangerous? It has been proven that THC can slow reaction times, affect brain function, and make it harder for drivers to drive steady in their lane.

Also, the Drug Enforcement Administration is warning people of a new trend of fentanyl. It can be found in pills and powder that come in many colors, shapes, and sizes. It only takes a very small dose, such as the amount found on a tip of a pencil (2 milligrams), to be deadly. Be sure to remind your friends and family to only take pills that are prescribed to you by a doctor. Use of fentanyl can cause confusion, drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, changes in pupil size, cold and clammy skin, coma, and respiratory failure leading to death. The drug overdose epidemic in the United States is a threat to our community.

October 29th is National Drug Take Back Day. Everyone should get rid of old, unused medications from their homes to prevent medication misuse and opioid addiction from ever starting.

If you have unused medicine, Four Corners has Deterra pouches available for free. You put unused medications into a Deterra pouch, fill with water, seal, shake, and throw away in the trash. It is safe and non-toxic to use.

For more information on these topics, go to  https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving or https://www.dea.gov/fentanylawareness or https://www.dea.gov/takebackday

For questions or to learn more, call Four Corners at 402-362-2621 or 877-337-3573 or email us at info@fourcorners.ne.gov