2023 Halloween: If You Feel Different, You Drive Different
Halloween falls on a Tuesday this year, but that won’t stop thousands around the country from celebrating seasonal festivities the weekend before, after, and the night of. To keep drivers and pedestrians safe, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is urging drivers to make a plan before heading out to celebrate. If you are under the influence of any drug, whether legally or illegally obtained, and you choose to get behind the wheel of a vehicle, you put everyone in danger, including yourself. Help us spread this lifesaving message: If You Feel Different, You Drive Different.
Violating Georgia’s drug-impaired driving laws can be costly.
- Possible jail time of up to one year
- Fine of $300 minimum, up to $1,000
- License suspension of up to one year
- 40 hours of community service, minimum mandatory
- $210 license reinstatement fee
Second Offense Within Five Years Of First Offense
- Minimum mandatory 48 hours in jail, possible 90 days to one year
- A fine of $600 minimum, up to $1,000
- License suspension of three years
- Minimum 30 days of community service
- $210 set license reinstatement fee
- A mandatory clinical evaluation and, if indicated, completion of a substance abuse treatment program at the offender’s expense
Third Offense Within Five Years Of Second Offense
- Minimum mandatory 15 days jail time
- A fine of $1,000 minimum, up to $5,000
- License revocation for five years
- Minimum mandatory 30 days community service
- The violator’s name, photo, and address published in the local newspaper at the violator’s expense
- Declared as habitual violator, the license plate for his/her vehicle will be seized by the sent to the court and forwarded to the Department of Motor Vehicle Safety
- Face a mandatory clinical evaluation and, if indicated, complete a substance abuse treatment program at the offender’s expense
It doesn’t matter what term you use: If a person is feeling a little high, stoned, or wasted, he or she should not get behind the wheel. And, if you think being high won’t affect your driving, you’re wrong. It has been proven that marijuana can slow reaction times, impair cognitive performance, and make it more difficult for drivers to keep a steady position in their lane.
Those who plan to use drugs should not drive. Even over-the-counter and prescription medications can have impairing effects. Take caution before driving after using any medication. If you find yourself drug-impaired and stranded with your vehicle, give your keys to a sober driver who can safely drive you home. Remind your friends to never get in the vehicle with an impaired driver. If you have a friend who is about to drive while drug-impaired, take the keys away and help them get home safely. Don’t worry about offending someone — you could save a life. If you’re a designated driver, stick to the plan: don’t use drugs (legally or illegally obtained).
There are many options to help impaired drivers get home safely, such as designating a sober driver or calling a taxi or rideshare. If available, use your community’s sober ride program. If you see an impaired driver on the road, do not hesitate to contact Cobb County police.
By working together, we can save lives and help keep America’s roadways safe. Please join NHTSA in sharing the lifesaving message, If You Feel Different, You Drive Different.
For more information on impaired driving, please visit www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drug-impaired-driving.