Campaign Discourages Driving While Under Influence of Drugs
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — While law enforcement dealt with the influx of cannabis use throughout the weekend because of the close association of April 20 with marijuana, a new multi-state initiative is targeting driving under the influence.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Association and law enforcement officials started the campaign, "Driving High? Kiss Your License Goodbye." The initiative will be active in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Arkansas and Oklahoma.
Col. Sandra Karsten of the Missouri Highway Patrol said it's an enforcement campaign, but also a learning opportunity.
"It's an enforcement as well as an educational campaign, that's designed to increase awareness and reduce the incidents of drugged driving on our highways,” Karsten said.
The campaign, which started this past Friday, will last for about a month total.
Clusters of officers will be working across Missouri to promote the zero-tolerance policy for driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Up and down highways of the six states, officers will arrest anyone suspected of drug-impaired driving.
The message that Karsten and law enforcement are trying to get across is that driving while under the influence of any drug still makes it harder to operate a vehicle - despite claims from those who believe marijuana has no effect.
"It is something that we want to take to the next level of enforcement and increase that awareness of those who might be impaired by any means,” she said; “whether it's marijuana or whether it's improper use of prescription medications."
Trained drug-recognition experts were on hand this past weekend to further enforce the campaign and help find those who were driving while under the influence.