VAN BUREN – Like drunk driving, drug-impaired driving is impaired driving, which means it is illegal in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, DC. Whether the drug is obtained legally or illegally, driving while drug-impaired poses a threat to the driver, vehicle passengers and other road users.

April 19 and 20, Van Buren Police Department will join other participating law enforcement agencies from Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma in Drive High, Get a DUI a regional Drug Impaired Driving enforcement campaign to put an end to drug-impaired driving alongside the 4/20 ‘holiday’ observed by many drug users.

Law enforcement officers across Van Buren will patrol approximately 25 miles of roadway.By concentrating on high traffic corridors, participating law enforcement agencies hope to put motorists on guard and encourage sober and safe driving.

Local Impact

In 2017, 39.4% of crash fatalities across the state of Arkansas, involved at least one driver testing positive for at least one drug. “Drug-impaired driving is a serious safety issue for drivers and law enforcement on Van Buren roadways,” said Sergeant Jonathan Wear with the Van Buren Police Department. “By intensifying enforcement of drug-impaired driving laws, we hope people will think twice before driving while impaired by any drug. It is deadly for the driver, but also for his or her passengers, and for other people on the road. If you are taking any type of drug—prescription, over-the-counter or illegal—make plans for a designated driver. Do not get behind the wheel of a vehicle.”

Drug Impairment Effects on Drivers

It is never safe to drive when impaired. This not only means refraining from drunk driving, but also from drug-impaired driving. If you think driving while high won’t affect you, you are wrong; it has been proven that THC – the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects – slows reaction times, impairs cognitive performance, and makes it more difficult for drivers to keep a steady position in their lane. The bottom line is this: Driving while impaired by any substance is illegal and can be deadly to the driver and other road users.

“Our goal is to save lives, so we’re putting all drivers on alert: Drug-impaired driving is against the law. Remember Drive High, Get a DUI,said Sergeant Wear.

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