Most Americans are familiar with the terrible consequences of driving while drunk, driving while distracted by texting, or talking on the phone. A similar issue is often overlooked-- drugged driving. Drugged driving can occur when the driver is affected by illicit drugs, prescription or over-the-counter medications which may all cause side effects that may impair drivers.
A roadside survey conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 16.3% of nighttime drivers tested positive for drugs other than alcohol. Eleven percent of daytime drivers also tested positive for drugs. In a separate study, one out of three fatally injured drivers tested for substance use tested positive for an illicit drug or medication with the ability to impair. These statistics demonstrate that drugged driving is an increasingly important public safety issue. This poses a very real danger to New Mexicans and it must be addressed.
The New Mexico Drugged Driving Initiative is designed to raise awareness across our state of the dangers of driving while impaired by prescription, over-the-counter, or illicit drugs. It encourages New Mexicans to make smart choices that protect the safety of everyone on our roadways. Even small quantities of a substance have the ability to affect skills necessary for operating a vehicle. These include reaction time, motor skills, perception, and judgment. Before you get behind the wheel, consider the consequences of your actions. Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can come with many negative repercussions. You could receive a DUI, lose your license, or even lose your life.
New Mexico’s police forces are working around the clock to identify impaired drivers. Specially trained officers have the ability to detect impairment due to drugs other than alcohol. These officers are dedicated to keeping dangerous drivers off the roads. The New Mexico Drugged Driving Initiative seeks to make our state safer by working with community members to promote awareness and education about this preventable crime. By working together, we can help drivers to avoid accidents, injuries, and death.