101 Town Center, P.O. Box 5655, Bella Vista, AR 72714 (479)876-1255

BVPD helping to curb impaired driving

With an uncertain history, April 20 (commonly known as 4/20) has become synonymous with marijuana use and is considered by some a marijuana “holiday.” To help keep drug-impaired drivers off the roads, Bella Vista Police officers are teaming up with state and national agencies for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 420 mobilization, campaigning to increase awareness and remind all drivers: If You Feel Different, You Drive Different.

Look for increased enforcement during this campaign, starting April 18.

Like drunk driving, drug-impaired driving is illegal nationwide. 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.

It doesn’t matter what term is used: If a person is feeling a little high, buzzed, stoned, or wasted, he or she should not get behind the wheel. The cost is too high to take a chance.

On average, a DUI charge could cost around $10,000 in attorney fees, plus result in the loss of your license, higher insurance rates and even jail time. But all those are the least of the dangers that can occur while driving impaired.

Those who use marijuana on 4/20 or any time should have a plan in place and refrain from driving. 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.

Don’t put the lives of yourself, your passengers and other drivers on the road on the line. For more information, visit www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drug-impaired-driving.