TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – For years we’ve all heard about the warnings against drinking and driving.
While that message is still out there, there’s a new one grabbing the attention of many.
Florida’s ‘drive baked, get busted’ campaign is a new warning about driving high on marijuana.
In the last ten years, the amount of drugged drivers has nearly doubled. Florida Highway Patrol is trying to put a stop to it.
In a catchy, $5 million campaign, you’ll see a baked driver get behind the wheel. He gets plenty of warning signs not to drive, and by the end, a trooper is warning him if you drive baked, you will get busted.
Troopers say now that medical marijuana is legal in Florida, more impaired drivers are out on the road.
“We have medical marijuana available, that’s okay but you cannot get behind the wheel of a car and just like with alcohol and start driving around. Drug impairment like that, it is going to slow your reaction time, your ability to reason and judge while you’re out there on the highways and react in a proper amount of time to avoid a crash,” said Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Steve Gaskins.
40 percent of drivers who died and tested positive for drugs in 2016 tested positive for marijuana.
F.H.P. troopers are now making it their mission to identify the drug impaired drivers and get them off the road.
“You’re going to have officers out there not just from the highway patrol but all of our local law enforcement partners are out there looking for impaired drivers every single night. There is a concerted effort to make sure the people are not behind the wheel of a car whether they are impaired by drugs or alcohol. Don’t take the risk,” said Gaskins.
The consequences for driving high are the same as getting a D.U.I for alcohol. It’ll cost you around $10,000 and will be on your record for a long time.