The Ottumwa Police Department announced it is joining a national initiative to promote safer driving.
The department and the Wapello County Sheriff’s Office will be working alongside U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Traffic Safety Administration in an effort to reduce drug-impaired driving.
From August 19th through September 5th, law enforcement will be taking part in If You Feel Different, You Drive Different. Drive High, Get a DUI enforcement period. Law enforcement says it has been proven that marijuana can slow reaction times, impair cognitive performance, and make it more difficult for drivers to keep a steady position in their lane.
According to a press release from the Ottumwa Police Department, in 2019, 49% of drivers who were killed in crashes and were tested for drugs, tested positive.
Authorities are asking the public to keep the following in mind:
- 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 are 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 you see an impaired driver on the road, contact the Ottumwa Police Department or Wapello County Sheriff’s Office. Please join us in sharing the lifesaving message, If You Feel Different, You Drive Different.