Sheriff Jay Koon

We all know that Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. But did you know that drug-impaired driving is a growing concern on America’s roads? This Thanksgiving, as you prepare for the annual food fest with family and friends, commit to sober driving and remember this important message: If You Feel Different, You Drive Different. This time of year can be a deadly one, as drunk drivers often take to the streets after an evening of merrymaking. To make matters worse, “Danksgiving” has become a popular trend during the Thanksgiving holiday, highlighting — and even encouraging — the heavy consumption of marijuana throughout the long holiday weekend.

To help keep the citizens of Lexington County safe on the streets, we’re teaming up with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to spread the message that impaired driving of any kind — drugged or drunk — is dangerous and illegal, period. You will be ticketed and likely arrested.

According to NHTSA, in 2016, 42 percent of the drivers killed in fatal crashes who were tested for drugs, tested positive. It doesn’t matter what term you use: If a person is feeling a little high, buzzed, stoned, wasted or drunk, he or she is impaired and should not get behind the wheel. Think driving while high won’t affect you? You’re wrong. It has been proven that Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychoactive effects — slows reaction times, impairs cognitive performance, and makes it more difficult for drivers to keep a steady position in their lane. This is a deadly combination.

If you’re planning to head out to the bar or to parties this holiday weekend, make sure you plan for a safe ride home. Designate a sober driver. If you think a driver may be impaired, do not get in the car.

By working together, we can save lives and help keep America’s roadways safe. Please join us in sharing the lifesaving message If You Feel Different, You Drive Different,and use the hashtag #DitchDanksgiving this holiday weekend.