NMDOT launches don't drive high campaign - Albuquerque Journal

NMDOT launches don’t drive high campaign

Billboards like this will be promoting NMDOT’s campaign against driving while under the influence of cannabis. (Source, New Mexico Department of Transportation)

Purposely timed to the start of legalized recreational cannabis sales in New Mexico, the state Department of Transportation on Friday launched an endwi+ campaign to remind motorists to not drive while under the influence of cannabis.

“Impairment is impairment, it doesn’t matter whether it’s alcohol or cannabis, driving while intoxicated on any substance is dangerous and illegal,” said Transportation Secretary Mike Sandoval. “If you are impaired and driving erratically or unsafely, you could be arrested for DWI. The law is the same.”

The new logo features a green and black color scheme and lower-case letters for endwi+. The cross was added because it is a symbol often used by dispensaries and pharmacies, said NMDOT spokeswoman Marisa Maez.

The campaign will use multi media platforms, including social media, “to bring awareness that drivers can and will get pulled over,” said Maez.

Law enforcement officers have been undergoing training on how to recognize and evaluate signs of impairment that are not alcohol related and do not rely on the odor of cannabis, she said.

Crashes involving only drug use have increased over the last 10 years, according to University of New Mexico studies. Reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Governors Highway Safety Association indicate drugs were present in 43% of drivers who were fatally injured with a known test result.

New Mexico used to be among the worst states for DWI traffic accidents and fatalities. Recognizing that, NMDOT about 10 years ago began its media campaign to end DWI.

“Now, with the legalization of recreational marijuana, we’ve expanded the end DWI campaign to include drugged driving,” Maez said.

 

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