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Roadside Chat - If you have a super bowl, don't drive high


2-11 super bowlIt’s a big weekend for professional football fans. Even those not particularly interested in football often tune in to the big game or attend parties to watch the commercials, eat snacks, have a drink or two, and sometimes imbibe in other substances that can jeopardize your safety behind the wheel.

With the legalization of marijuana in many states across the U.S. it’s no surprise that more people might be driving with the substance in their system. Marijuana has measurable physiological effects that impair the ability to drive and react quickly in critical situations. There are numerous independent studies that have shown cannabis impairs critical abilities needed to drive safely, including:

  • Slowed reaction time
  • Difficulties in road tracking and lane-position variability
  • Decreased, divided attention
  • Impaired cognitive performance
  • Relaxed inhibitions
  • Impaired executive functions, including route planning, decision making, and risk-taking, or a combination of all

Regardless of the impairing substance, the skills needed to drive safely are negatively impacted by many drugs, including marijuana.

You can get pulled over and arrested for driving under the influence if you’re high. Iowa law enforcement officers are trained in the detection of impairment of alcohol and drugs, and many are specially trained Drug Recognition Experts (DRE). These officers have the ability to detect physical and psychophysical signs of drug impairment.

One thing to keep in mind, if you feel different, you drive different.

So far in 2022, there have been 19 deaths in traffic crashes. That’s an increase of two since last Friday. To see statistics published daily by the Office of Driver Services, go to the daily fatality report at

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Iowa highway in the evening