The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently announced the 2019 version of its annual national impaired-driving high-visibility enforcement campaign (NHTSA Advises Motorists to Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over). The NHTSA joined Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) in presenting their alcohol- and drug-impaired driving messages Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over and If You Feel Different, You Drive Different – Drive High, Get a DUI.
Starting August 16, 2019, law enforcement officers throughout the United States have been on heightened alert for people who drive while impaired. The $13 million media campaign runs through Labor Day weekend and includes television, radio, digital, cinema, and social media outlets to deliver its safety message.
Because of recent legalization efforts, this year’s campaign features an added focus on educating marijuana users about the risks of driving after smoking. Many marijuana users think driving while high is safer than driving drunk and believe they cannot be charged with a DUI for driving while impaired by marijuana.
“Almost everyone knows that driving drunk is dangerous, puts lives at risk, and can get you a DUI – but there isn’t the same awareness for drug-impaired driving.” NHTSA Deputy Administrator Heidi King said. “At NHTSA, we are working hard to raise awareness among the driving public of the fact that driving impaired by drugs is illegal in every state. We want to encourage people to think twice before driving and to follow through by designating a sober driver, calling a cab, or using a ridesharing service.”
Along with its decades-long battle against alcohol-impaired driving, last summer the NHTSA launched its first campaign against drug-impaired driving If You Feel Different, You Drive Different along with its enforcement component Drive High, Get a DUI. “Driving either drunk or high is a DUI – impairment is impairment,” King said. “During this nationwide enforcement, and year-round, if you drive high, you can get a DUI – drive sober or get pulled over.”
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal in all 50 states. Please heed the NHTSA’s warning and appoint a designated driver or call a ridesharing service or a cab to ensure you get home safely over the holiday weekend.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an automobile accident, please contact Shamberg, Johnson & Bergman for a free consultation. We will only receive a fee in the event of a successful resolution of your case.