If you feel different, you drive different. This Halloween weekend, Berks County Police Officers, and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have partnered to remind drivers about the deadly consequences of drug-impaired driving.
“Although Halloween falls on a Sunday this year, we’re certain to see extra parties throughout the weekend, and every single partygoer should plan their sober ride home in advance,” said Sergeant David Bentz, Exeter Township Police Department and Berks County Coordinator for the North Central Regional DUI Enforcement Program.
“If you plan to use an impairing substance, you should plan for a sober ride home. Before you ever get behind the wheel of a vehicle, remember: If You Feel Different, You Drive Different.”
NHTSA is working closely with Berks County Police Departments to spread the word about the dangers of drug-impaired driving and to remind all drivers: If you are impaired by drugs and are thinking about driving, pass your keys on to a sober driver.
In the campaign, authorities are reminding the public that being under the influence of any drug, whether legally or illegally obtained, and choosing to get behind the wheel of a vehicle, puts everyone in danger.
According to NHTSA, between 2009 and 2018, of those drivers killed in crashes and tested for marijuana, the presence of marijuana had nearly doubled. In 2018, 46% of drivers who were killed in crashes and were tested for drugs, tested positive.
“In some areas, certain drugs are legal, and certainly prescription and over-the-counter medications are legal,” said Sergeant Bentz. “But we ask people to please, think twice before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle if you are taking any drug. There are many options available to drivers to help them get home safely if they are under the influence of any impairing substance,” Bentz said.
Police in Berks County will be conducting both DUI Roving Patrols and Checkpoints over the Halloween weekend to take impaired drivers off the road.
If you have used an impairing substance such as marijuana, do not drive. Passengers should never ride with an impaired driver. If you think a driver may be impaired, do not get in the car.
If you’re planning to use drugs, plan ahead for a sober driver to safely drive you to your destination. Like drunk driving, it is essential that drug-impaired drivers refrain from driving a vehicle. It is never okay to drive while impaired by any substance.
Do you have a friend who is about to drive while impaired by drugs? Take the keys away and arrange to get them home safely. Don’t worry about offending someone — they’ll thank you later.
If available, use your community’s sober ride program or call UBER or LYFT. If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact 911.