Alaska State Troopers to increase impaired driving patrols on 4/20

Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 6:19 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - April 20 is the unofficial holiday celebrating cannabis. Alaska State Troopers are cautioning people to not drive while impaired.

Lieutenant Jess Carson said that while it is legal to use cannabis, it is not legal to drive while high. He said that doing so is not only illegal, but dangerous. He encouraged people who do want to celebrate 4/20 to do so in their homes or have a designated driver.

To help keep people safe, Carson said AST will have increased patrols looking for impaired drivers. He also urged people to report to police if they know someone who is high that is planning on driving. He said a majority of their ‘Report Ever Dangerous Driver Immediately’ (REDDI) reports come from people who are with someone who shouldn’t be driving. Carson emphasized that reports can be made anonymously.

He also encouraged people to call if they see someone who seems to be impaired while driving.

“The signs of somebody being impaired are the same between alcohol and a lot of other narcotics such as marijuana,” Carson said. “You’ll see the person not respond to traffic lights, they will come to abrupt stops before them. They will do wide turns, they will sway in and out of lanes. They will drive close to people, they will be going really slow a ways away from people. Just different driving behaviors than you would expect of somebody that is under all of their senses.”

He said that if the person who is showing signs of impairment is not speeding or running red lights it may be safe to follow them and update dispatchers, but he said it is never okay to follow someone who is driving recklessly. He said to get a description of the vehicle, license plate number and a direction of travel and let law enforcement deal with it.

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