“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Campaign Educates Drivers on
Impairment Caused by Marijuana
NORTHAMPTON, Massachusetts (August 9, 2017)- The Northampton Police Department will increase the number of impaired driving patrols on local roads after being awarded a special grant from the Highway Safety Division (HSD) of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS). The Northampton Police Department will join more than 200 local police departments across the state and the state police in the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement mobilization.
This year’s campaign will include the impairment marijuana causes in drivers – and the exponentially increased impairment caused when alcohol and marijuana are combined.
“Drivers who have had too much to drink or ingested marijuana are a menace to everyone on the road with them,” said Captain John Cartledge “This grant funding will allow us to add patrols specifically to remove impaired drivers and as a result reduce the needless deaths and injuries they cause.”
“There is clear evidence that drivers who have used marijuana, especially in combination with alcohol, are significantly impaired,” said Jeff Larason, Director of the Highway Safety Division. “We are urging motorists to plan ahead for a sober ride home by using public transportation, a ride-sharing service or a designated driver. Do not put yourself and each person in the car and on the road with you at risk.”
- Marijuana or marijuana-type drugs were the most prevalent types of drugs found in people killed in crashes from 2010 to 2014.
- From 2013 to 2014, alcohol impaired driving fatalities increased 14 percent (125 to 143).
- From 2010-2014, 77 percent of impaired drivers in fatal crashes were men.
- From 2010-2014, 46 percent of all alcohol-related driver fatalities were ages 21 to 34.
- NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) reported that drugs were present in 40 percent of the fatally-injured drivers with a known test result, almost the same level as alcohol.
- NHTSA’s 2013–2014 roadside survey found drugs in 22 percent of all drivers both on weekend nights and on weekdays.
- Drivers using marijuana demonstrated decreased car handling performance, increased reaction times, impaired time and distance estimation, sleepiness and decreased motor skill coordination (NHTSA).
- Mixing alcohol and marijuana may dramatically produce effects greater than either drug on its own (NHTSA).