What does your college student need to know about drugs and driving?

Chuck Smith Attorney at Law

When you have a child in college, you want her or him to have all different kinds of experiences that change their life. However, you do not want to include criminal charges on that list.

Having frequent discussions with your student about your expectations for them should include the topic of alcohol and drugs. Here is some information from the National Institute on Drug Abuse about drugs and driving that you can use to talk with your child.

Drugged driving is common among college students

Unfortunately, using drugs and then getting behind the wheel of an automobile is a very common problem among this demographic. Use data when talking to your child so she or he can comprehend the severity of this problem. Statistics show that 1 in 6 college students with automobile access engaged in drug use prior to operating the vehicle on at least one occasion over the previous year. And in 2018, 12.6 million people over the age of 16 drove under the influence of illegal drugs.

Drugged driving includes marijuana usage

Be sure also to impress upon your child that marijuana is the most frequent drug of choice among college students. While many of them think marijuana is not as dangerous as other drugs, it in fact has very negative consequences on the cognitive and psychomotor functions of drivers, including that marijuana:

  • Reduces reaction time
  • Creates problems with depth perception
  • Throws off coordination and balance
  • Increases drowsiness and dizziness

Drugged driving is a crime

Tell your child that driving under the influence of drugs is just as much of a crime as driving under the influence of alcohol and sometimes even more so, depending upon what might be found in the automobile. Also, the category of drugs includes marijuana, over the counter medicines and prescription medication. Criminal penalties for drugged driving include license suspension, probation, monetary fines and fees and sometimes even jail time.

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