ACPD teams up with NHTSA to urge safe driving on 4/20


The Ark City Police Department says it will be keeping an even closer eye on traffic and drivers on April 20.

“On Thursday, April 20, 2023, there will likely be an increase in marijuana use,” a press release from the police department said. “With an uncertain history, April 20 (more commonly known as 4/20) has become synonymous with marijuana use, and, in some circles, the date is a marijuana ‘holiday."”

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is teaming up with the ACPD to spread the message that drug-impaired driving is dangerous and illegal.

“NHTSA wants to remind all drivers: If You Feel Different, You Drive Different,” the press release stated. “Like drunk driving, drug-impaired driving is illegal nationwide.”

According to NHTSA, between 2009 and 2018, of those drivers killed in crashes and tested for marijuana, the presence of marijuana had nearly doubled. In 2018, 46% of drivers who were killed in crashes and were tested for drugs tested positive.

“It doesn’t matter what the day is; marijuana impairment is a threat when you’re behind the wheel of a vehicle,” ACPD Operations Division Capt. Jim Holloway said. “We are asking our community members to obey the law and to make safe choices when behind the wheel of a vehicle.”

Those who plan to use marijuana on 4/20 should have a plan in place and refrain from driving:

  • If you have used an impairing substance such as marijuana, do not drive. Passengers should never ride with an impaired driver. Do not get in the car if you think a driver may be impaired.
  • If you are drug-impaired, pass the keys to a driver who has not used marijuana and can safely drive you to your destination. Like drunk driving, drug-impaired drivers must refrain from driving a vehicle. It is never okay to drive while impaired by any substance.
  • Do you have a friend who is about to drive while impaired by drugs? Take the keys away and arrange to get them home safely. Don’t worry about offending someone — they’ll thank you later.
  • If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact law enforcement by dialing 911.

Cannabis is still illegal in Kansas, but legal for medicinal use in Oklahoma.