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Drug-Impaired Driving Awareness: Changing Behavior, Saving Lives

One year ago, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration challenged the Nation to save lives by addressing the growing risks of drug-impaired driving. Today we’re changing the way Americans think about getting behind the wheel after using impairing drugs—whether prescription, over-the-counter, or illicit.

Driving impaired by drugs is dangerous, puts lives at risk, and can get you a DUI. It’s not just illegal or illicit substances that can impair – some prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications can slow your reaction time and cause drowsiness too. Adding alcohol to the mix can make drug-impaired driving even more dangerous.

In just one year, NHTSA has changed the national conversation on drug-impaired driving by:

  • Launching a Call to Action to encourage Federal agencies, States and safety leaders to unite behind a common cause: saving lives by educating drivers about the risks of driving impaired by drugs.
  • Developing the If You Feel Different, You Drive Different social-norming campaign and its enforcement campaign, Drive High, Get a DUI, with paid advertising, earned media and social media messaging.
  • Bringing together law enforcement, medical professionals, State and local leaders, and safety advocates to share best practices at listening sessions across the country, including: Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Des Moines, Nashville, Phoenix, Sacramento and Seattle.
  • Awarding more than $100,000 in grants to Delaware, Guam, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Oklahoma and West Virginia to train more officers to recognize drivers impaired by drugs, including opioids and marijuana.
  • Creating two working groups with subject matter experts from across the Nation to examine best practices in toxicology, data collection, and criminal justice related to drug-impaired driving.

Join us: Sign the pledge to drive sober and drug- and alcohol-free. Plan for a sober driver, use public transit, or call a cab or rideshare if using impairing substances. Commit to educating family and friends about the risks of driving impaired by drugs.

Together, we can change behaviors, prevent crashes, and save lives.