‘Driving high? Kiss your license goodbye!’

MPD, MCSO part of drug-impaired driving enforcement campaign


Like drunk driving, drugged driving is impaired driving, which means it is illegal in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. Whether the drug is obtained legally or illegally, driving while drug-impaired poses a threat to the driver, vehicle passengers and other road users.

Between April 20-22, the Marshalltown Police Department and the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office will join participating law enforcement officials from Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma in “Driving High? Kiss Your License Goodbye!” — a six-state drug impaired driving enforcement campaign to put an end to drug impaired driving.

“Drug impaired driving is a serious safety issue for drivers and law enforcement on our roadways,” said MPD Lt. Rick Bellile. “By intensifying enforcement of drug impaired driving laws, we hope people will think twice before driving while impaired by any drug. It is deadly for the driver, but also for his or her passengers, and for other people on the streets. If you are taking any type of drug, prescription, over-the-counter or illegal, make plans for a sober driver. Do not get behind the wheel of a vehicle.”

Bellile and MCSO Sgt. Ben Veren said it is never safe to drive when impaired. This not only means refraining from drunk driving, but also from drug-impaired driving. If you think driving while high won’t affect you, you are wrong; it has been proven that THC – the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects – slows reaction times, impairs cognitive performance and makes it more difficult for drivers to keep a steady position in their lane. The bottom line is this: It doesn’t matter what term is used, if a person is high, stoned, wasted or drunk, he or she is impaired. Driving while impaired by any substance is illegal and can be deadly to the driver and other road users.

“Our goal is to save lives and we’re putting all drivers on alert — drug-impaired driving is against the law,” said Bellile.