The Missouri Department of Transportation announced on Monday the state’s law enforcement officers will be out in full force this weekend, patrolling for drivers who are high after celebrating the 420 holiday. The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDoT) noted in a press release that “while cannabis is now legalized for recreational and medicinal use in many states, it is still illegal in all states to drive under the influence of it” and that police would be especially on the lookout for stoned drivers on Friday and Saturday, April 19 and 20. The 420 drugged-driving enforcement campaign has been dubbed ‘Drive High, Get a DUI’ by the agency.
Jon Nelson, MoDOT assistant to the state highway safety and traffic engineer, said that the agency wanted residents of the state to consider what is at stake when drivers are impaired.
“Driving drug-impaired or riding with someone who is drug-impaired is not worth the risk,” said Nelson. “Not only do you risk killing yourself or someone else, but the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for driving while substance-impaired can be significant. The consequences are serious and real.”
The Toll of Impaired Driving
Last year in Missouri, 78 people were killed and 142 more were seriously injured in traffic collisions that involved at least one impaired driver, according to preliminary data from MoDoT.
“The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety reminds motorists of the various options available to get everyone home safe. Designating a sober driver, calling a cab or using public transportation are just a few of those options. Remember, if you feel different, you drive different,” the release noted.
Nelson also reminded drivers of other common sense tips to stay safe behind the wheel.
“We encourage all drivers to take responsibility and make smart choices so that everyone gets home safe,” he said. “Drive sober, buckle up and phone down.” Besides driving completely sober from alcohol and drugs, motorists are also advised to put their cell phones down while driving and always buckle up – everyone, every trip, every time.