Don’t risk it on 4/20: Plan for a sober driver

April 20, or 4/20, has become an unofficial holiday for cannabis enthusiasts. The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) remind cannabis users that it is dangerous and illegal to use cannabis and then drive.

Drug-impaired driving is an increasing danger on roadways. Of the 1,053 fatal crashes that occurred in Michigan in 2022 (the most recent year for which data is available), 229 or 21.7 percent were drug-involved, with at least one drugged driver, bicyclist or pedestrian. Of the 229 fatal drug-involved crashes, 119 or 52 percent were single vehicle crashes.

“If you are impaired by drugs or alcohol, you should never get behind the wheel,” said Katie Bower, OHSP director. “We are asking people to use good judgement, obey the law and make safe choices when driving. Your decisions don’t just affect you — they affect everyone on the road.”

In Michigan in 2022, of the 225 motor vehicle drivers suspected of drug use who were involved in fatal crashes, 179 (79.6 percent) were male and 46 (20.4 percent) were female.

“Those who plan to use cannabis on 4/20 — or any day — should not drive,” Bower said. “If you find yourself drug-impaired, find a sober ride home.”

It has been proven that cannabis can slow reaction times, impair cognitive performance and make it more difficult for drivers to keep a steady position in their lane. Whether the drug is legally obtained or not, drug-impaired driving poses a threat to everyone on the road.

There are many options to help impaired drivers get home safely such as a sober friend or numerous ride-share services.

For more information on drugged driving, visit www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drug-impaired-driving.


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