The West Virginia Governor’s Highway Safety Program (GHSP) has partnered with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to promote a new anti-drugged driving initiative. Keep reading to learn more.
The GHSP’s new program is called “If You Feel Different, You Drive Different. Drive High, Get a DUI.” The program aims to stop drivers from attempting to drive while under the influence of drugs. The program also seeks to educate the public on the dangers of drugged driving and how/why it is dangerous.
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice stated, “It does not matter if you’re impaired by drugs or alcohol, make a good decision, and don’t put yourself or other West Virginia road users at risk. It is not worth it. Never drive impaired.”
In addition to warning motorists of the dangers of drugged driving, the campaign also provides a summary of the penalties for breaking the law. In West Virginia, driving impaired through drugs or alcohol is illegal and can be a felony in some cases.
Why Drivers Drive High
For some drivers, getting buzzed on weed or other drugs does not seem as serious as long as they feel mostly cognizant. However, it is important to note that in the same way that different types and amounts of alcohol impact people differently, drugs also interact with the body systems in different ways.
With drugs, there are two primary categories of drugs to keep in mind: uppers and downers. Uppers are drugs or medications that stimulate the brain. Some examples include cocaine, ecstasy, and ADHD medications like Adderall. When a person takes a stimulant, they may experience heightened cardiovascular activity, shakiness, dizziness, and an emotional crash when the body processes the substance.
If a person is on uppers while driving, they could react too quickly and cause an accident or crash while in motion and fall asleep at the wheel.
Downers on the other hand suppress the system to slow down a function for one reason or the other. Marijuana, Xanax, heroin, and prescription painkillers are all examples of downers. Individuals on suppressants often have a significantly slower reaction time and may experience difficulty maintaining oxygen levels, overdose, or fall asleep while driving.
In both circumstances, the impaired driver is a threat to the safety of themselves and others. The GHSP’s campaign aims to inform the public of these factors so drivers can make better choices for public safety.
If you have been accused of driving under the influence, contact The Wagner Law Firm.