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This Labor Day Weekend, Remind Your Friends: If You Feel Different, You Drive Different. Drive High, Get a DUI.

 

August 28, 2019

[Bemidji, MN] - During the 2019 Labor Day holiday, the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office will partner with the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to get drug-impaired drivers off the roads and help save lives. The high-visibility national enforcement campaign, If You Feel Different, You Drive Different. Drive High, Get a DUI., runs from August 14 through September 2, 2019. During this period, local law enforcement will show zero tolerance for drug-impaired driving. Increased state and national messages about the dangers of driving impaired, coupled with enforcement and increased officers on the road, aim to drastically reduce drug-impaired driving on our nation's roadways.

Drug-impaired driving is an increasing problem on our nation's roads. It is illegal to drive impaired in all 50 states and the District of Columbia - no exceptions. If drivers are impaired by any substance - alcohol or drugs - they should not get behind the wheel of a vehicle. Driving while impaired is illegal, period. The bottom line is this: If You Feel Different, You Drive Different. Drive High, Get a DUI. It's that simple.

"We've heard every excuse in the book, but the bottom line is that no matter what the substance is, if it has impaired you, you should not be driving," said Sheriff Ernie Beitel. "We want everyone to enjoy a safe and happy Labor Day. Please commit to yourself and your community members that you'll drive safe over the holiday weekend, and every day," He said.

According to NHTSA, in 2016, 42% of the drivers killed in fatal crashes who were tested, tested positive for drugs. This is why it's so important we spread this lifesaving message: If You Feel Different, You Drive Different. Drive High, Get a DUI. It doesn't matter what term you use: If a person is feeling a little high, buzzed, stoned, wasted, or drunk, he or she is impaired and should not get behind the wheel. Think driving while high won't affect you? You're wrong. It has been proven that Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) - the chemical responsible for most of marijuana's psychoactive effects - slows reaction times, impairs cognitive performance, and makes it more difficult for drivers to keep a steady position in their lane. This is a deadly combination.

Something as simple as cold medication or an over-the-counter sleep aid could impair your driving. If it does, you could be arrested for a DUI. If you are taking a new prescription drug or a higher dose of a current prescription drug, do not drive until you know what effect it has on your judgement, coordination, and reaction time. Any effect could impair your driving ability. In fact, certain medications may not impair you on their own, but if taken with a second medication or with alcohol, they may cause impairment. Any form of impaired driving is illegal.

Beltrami County Sheriff's Office and NHTSA are reminding citizens of the many resources available to get them home safely. "Driving impaired is a choice," said Sheriff Ernie Beitel. "Make the right choice and find a sober ride home if you've indulged in an impairing substance. This Labor Day holiday, we will make zero exceptions for drug-impaired driving. There are just no excuses," he said.

Beltrami County Sheriff's Office recommends these safe alternatives to drug-impaired driving:

 If you have ingested an impairing substance, such as marijuana, alcohol, prescription drugs, sleep medication, or any form of illegal drug, 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 drug-impaired, pass the keys to a sober driver who can safely drive you to your final 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.

 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, dial 911.

For more information about the If You Feel Different, You Drive Different. Drive High, Get a DUI. campaign, visit https://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/get-materials/drug-impaired-driving/drive-high-get-dui.

 

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