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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Focus on Safety –Drugs and alcohol 101


This month, the Naperville Police Department turns the focus of its Safer Naper campaign to the dangers of impaired driving.

Alcohol is the number one killer on American roadways. Every day, about 32 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes. That is one death every 45 minutes. Recent reports from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) find that alcohol and cannabis are the primary substances detected in impaired drivers.

Everyone metabolizes and absorbs alcohol at different rates, so, there is no real “safe” amount of alcohol a person can consume and then drive. Alcohol affects your driving even if you are below the level of illegal intoxication. Drinking even a small amount of alcohol increases your chances of causing a crash.

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Many do not realize the dangers of driving after taking drugs, including prescription and over-the-counter medications. Many legally obtained and commonly used OTC and prescription drugs can affect a person’s ability to drive safely. This includes both medical and recreational cannabis. If you are taking a prescription drug, a new prescription, or a higher dose of a current drug, do not drive until you know what effect it has on your judgment, coordination, and reaction time.

Planning ahead and making good choices regarding consumption is critical. The best way to stop impaired driving is by preventing those who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol from ever getting behind the wheel. Plan a safe ride home before consumption. Rideshare services are commonplace and easily accessible. Designate a person who abstains from drugs or alcohol as a designated driver so they can safely drive friends or family home.

The bottom line is if you or someone you know has been drinking or using drugs, do not get behind the wheel. If you see an impaired driver on the road call 911. Your actions could save someone’s life.

For more information about the laws involving alcohol and marijuana consumption, making good choices, and other drug- and alcohol-related topics visit www.naperville.il.us/ASaferNaper.

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Julie Smith
Julie Smith
Julie Smith is Crime Prevention Specialist at the Naperville Police Department. Contact her at SmithJu@naperville.il.us or (630) 305-5450.


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