Drug Impaired Driving
You can’t drive safely if you’re impaired. That’s why it’s illegal everywhere in America to drive under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, opioids, methamphetamines, or any potentially impairing drug–prescribed or over the counter. Driving while impaired by any substance—legal or illegal—puts you and others in harm’s way. Learn the latest research on drug-impaired driving, misconceptions about marijuana use, and what you can do to make smarter choices to drive safely.
Many Substances Can Impair Driving
Many substances can impair driving, including alcohol, some over-the-counter and prescription drugs, and illegal drugs.
- Alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs can impair the ability to drive because they slow coordination, judgment, and reaction times.
- Cocaine and methamphetamine can make drivers more aggressive and reckless.
- Using two or more drugs at the same time, including alcohol, can amplify the impairing effects of each drug a person has consumed.
- Some prescription and over-the-counter medicines can cause extreme drowsiness, dizziness, and other side effects. Read and follow all warning labels before driving, and note that warnings against “operating heavy machinery” include driving a vehicle.
Impaired drivers can’t accurately assess their own impairment – which is why no one should drive after using any impairing substances. Remember: If you feel different, you drive different.
We can all save lives by making smarter choices.
- Plan ahead for a sober driver, if you plan to use an impairing drug.
- Don’t let friends get behind the wheel if they’re under the influence of drugs.
- If you’re hosting a party where alcohol or other substances will be used, it’s your job to make sure all guests leave with a sober driver.
Always wear your seat belt—it’s your best defense against impaired drivers.