Oklahoma’s First Driver Impairment Awareness Day is Asking Volunteers to Drive High

Oklahoma will be hosting a Driver Impairment Awareness Day on July 12th, 2019 to highlight the effects of driving while texting, as well as driving under the influence of alcohol or cannabis.

Muskogee County Sheriff and Muskogee Police Department have partnered with two Oklahoma cannabis companies, Herbal Wellness Extracts and Oklahoma Natural Grass, for the event.

CEO of Herbal Wellness Extracts and Oklahoma Natural grass Todd Mitchem says, “It’s the cannabis industry’s job to inform customers about all aspects of marijuana, including the risks of impairment. I am thrilled our family of companies can spearhead this event for Oklahoma. This engaging experience is designed to educate drivers and law enforcement.”

Volunteers will either consume alcohol, consume cannabis, or text while driving on a coned course. The volunteers will be driving and under the supervision of a driver’s education instructor.

After they’ve completed the course, a law enforcement officer will conduct sobriety exams on the volunteers who consumed alcohol or cannabis.

While the Driver Impairment Awareness Day is aimed to educate the community on dangerous driving, it is also designed to further train local law enforcement on how to detect impairment.

Police Chief Johnny Teehee of the Muskogee City Police Department said, “Marijuana and alcohol impairment are among the top concerns for our department. This day will give my officers a chance to learn better how to detect impairment accurately.”

Identifying cannabis impairment has proven to be a tricky topic to tackle for law enforcement agencies across the United States. In California, police officers are trained in a two-week course which entails cognitive tests and evaluation of physical signs of cannabis impairment. California’s cannabis impairment tests include checking the blood pressure and pulse of the driver. However, like many states, California hasn’t set a limit for the amount of cannabis in someone’s system that will qualify for a DUI or DWI, as cannabis impairment is effected by a driver’s genetics and tolerance to cannabis.