CHP Wants to Remind You That You Can Still Get a DUI if You Drive High

This is a press release from the California Highway Patrol:

SACRAMENTO, CA – The issue of drivers under the influence of drugs (DUID), rather than alcohol, is an increasingly serious problem in California. Faced with more instances of DUID, state and local officials are reiterating the message that “DUI Doesn’t Just Mean Booze.”

The message takes on increased importance as the state begins licensing commercial nonmedical cannabis sales on January 1, 2018, under provisions of Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act. Alcohol-impaired driving is still the most serious problem on our roadways, but the percentage of drivers in fatal collisions who have other impairing substances in their system keeps rising.

“It has taken more than 35 years to convince the vast majority of the public that driving under the influence of alcohol is dangerous, illegal, and socially unacceptable,” said Rhonda Craft, Director of the Office of Traffic Safety. “With more dying on our roadways every day, we can’t afford to take that long when it comes to driving under the influence of prescription medications, marijuana, illicit drugs and even some over-the-counter medications.”

From 2005 to 2015, the percentage of drivers in fatal collisions who had an impairing drug other than alcohol in their system increased from 26.2 percent to 42.6 percent, according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. As far back as 2012, a roadside survey in California showed more drivers tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than did for alcohol (7.3 percent). Of the drugs, cannabis was most prevalent, at 7.4 percent, slightly more than alcohol.

In addition to alcohol or cannabis, a driver could be subject to a DUI arrest if they are under the influence of prescription medications like sleep aids, tranquilizers, barbiturates, opiates and other pain killers, anti-depressants, and even over-the-counter allergy or cough medications when they impair your ability to drive a vehicle.

“Just like drunk driving, driving under the influence of drugs is not only dangerous, it is a crime,” CHP Acting Commissioner Warren Stanley said. “What caused the impairment does not matter. In short, “drive high, get a DUI.”

In the face of more drug-impaired drivers on the road, the CHP and local law enforcement are training more officers in Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement and Drug Recognition Evaluation. The advanced training augments the Standardized Field Sobriety Test to help identify what substances other than alcohol a driver may be impaired by.

Acting Commissioner Stanley and Director Craft note alternatives to driving impaired, including calling a taxi or a sober friend or family member, using public transportation, or ride-hailing services. If you see a driver who appears to be impaired, do not hesitate to call 9-1-1.

During December, the Office of Traffic Safety ran public awareness announcements concerning prescription medication DUI. Starting December 27 and running through January, the emphasis switches to one illustrating that no matter your age or your reasons for consuming cannabis, you should never drive while high.



  • Whatever. They arent taking my blood. Ridiculous. Ive been driving high over half my life. Ups companies…whatever…now opiates….that is what they should be blood testing people for and I see they have mentioned that above but it has never really been regarded unless alcohol is a factor in their determination. There are alot of people “opiate” drivin in Hum. Overmedicated I am sure….cuz that is how it goes.

    • I was told by park rangers once that they would restrain me and take it if I refused. That’s exactly what they did. The nurse cried while she was drawing my blood. I was completely sober. Only night Ive ever spent in jail. Tried to stick me with dui of marijuana. I hadn’t smoked in two days but they found an old roch in my car. I was guilty of being a young guy, with long hair, in a muscle car. Ended up having to plea to dry reckless driving. I had been stopped for going 34 in a 25. I had no gauges in my dash. They kept me outside in the snow for over two hours while five rangers went through the california vehicle code handbook. They could not find a charge for driving with no instrumentation, so they trumped up a charge and threw me in jail. All they had to do was claim that I failed the field sobriety test.

      Our access to justice is directly related to our incomes. I couldn’t afford anything but a public defender at the time.

    • Drone pollinators inc.

      They already have a breathalyzer for weed. All dept. are purchasing them as we type. Coming to a town near you.

    • If you have the “privilege” of having a California driver’s license, you’ve already consented to blood draws.

      Don’t think it’s going to settle down anytime soon. every state that has already passed legalize marijuana has had a drastic increase in DUI charges. do you really think the cops are going to give up Revenue? after all that’s pretty much all they do these days, why do you think there are so many people on the streets committing crimes without getting in trouble? Yet when you drive Garnerville to Eureka you see an average of 6 to 8 chp on the trip.

    • [Edit] driving while impaired kills people, [Edit]

  • Drugalizer coming soon, swab and fine,bout time they test for pain killers and antidepressants

    • lol antidepressants. If they ban driving while taking those I will look forward to traveling all over sparsely populated roads.

      • If they ban? It is against the law to take drugs and drive, what reality do you live in? Swab,cite, and fine , dui all around, see if 5000 dollar fine gets people’s attention

        • I live in the reality that most people taking small does antidepressants are in no way too intoxicated to drive. Drugs is a very broad term and it certainly isn’t against the law do drive while taking certain ones. Say nicotine and caffeine for two common examples. Taking drugs does not equal impaired. For some people they would be too impaired to drive without the drugs they need. How about just take some responsibility and don’t drive if you are too impaired to do so safely. It is impossible to legislate for every potential hazard in life.

  • It will all sort out in a few years. In the meantime, what a profitable time to be a lawyer…

  • groba dude osnt trustafarian

    Let’s see, how about coffee, excessive testosterone, menopause… Driving is just too dangerous for ANYONE.

    Some of you, just stay in the house!

    • Why Miss Gulch road a bike no doubt...

      Menopause too? I was wondering what my problem was…

    • The Hermit of Grizzly Mountain

      Caffeine is a potent drug. Like clockwork, exactly 15 minutes after I visit the drive-through Jawa hut, I have to pull over behind one of the giant trees on Endor and wipe my ass with an Ewok.

  • Basically if they dont like the look you they can just say you failed the field sobriety test and fuck up your life. No empirical way to determine if you are actully impaired.

    • Drone pollinators inc.

      Yes they have it now. The machine tells them how recently you have smoked and what percent in millions of a percent.

  • Caffeine gives me the jitters

  • But it’s legal now….

  • Paperwork and Laptops

    I hope they start testing every driver at random checkpoints. Big fines. Welcome to your “legalization”! Ha Ha!!

    • That’s a terrifying thought, they have them for alcohol. So drivers on their daily SSRI, can have their lives destroyed just driving to work.

      • Poor me syndrome,get druggies off the road,too many wrecks caused by these people taking meds

        • Guess you really are a lone ranger. Millions of people take antidepressants, hell, better start a car pool at work, because life isn’t always perfect

      • I have never heard of anyone getting a DUI for being impaired by an SSRI. They are probably driving better with their reduced anxiety. I will still gladly take a driver who just took a few puffs off a joint on the road with me over the person on their phone texting or instasnapping.

        • Drone pollinators inc.

          Wait take this over that? That solves it. Phone or drugs let’s pick. Hmmmm this decision seems simple neither.

          • How about just be reaponsible and learn how to drive defensibly? No reason to believe that driving on any roaf is safe. But no people want to be self absorbed in their own little lives never paying attention to whats going on around them, then blame everyone or everything else , ban it ban them lock everyone up right ? The only reason we have so many crimminals in this country is because everyone is one. I do not know a single home owner that is not a felon. If you own a home or even rent one , chances are you have bomb making materials in your home. That alone is a felony, federal, lots of time etc. How about buglury tools ? Yes every adult own some, also a crime. Thes are just 2 of many things that everyone is guilty of reguardless if you have the knowledge or intent to use items for these purposes , you have them you are guilty. We need less laws and less people expecting to not have to take personal reaponsibility for their own safety. One persons rights do not superpass anothers rights. The right to persure ones happiness is hardly used as a defence, yet one could reasonably defend that their happiness is equal to others safety. Just thoughts i wish people would think more about.

            • You are 100% correct. I learned to be a defensive drive from the get go and have never found myself involved in an accident to date. Paying a little attention to what goes on around you goes a long way for your own safety. Doesn’t matter how many laws you pass the roads will never be completely safe so long as you have apes driving big hunks of metal at high rates of speed.

        • If you are taking meds and driving, just make sure you have good liability ins. And a good lawyer on retainer, cause new technology is not on your side

  • They should hold every dui driver to the same standards as alcohol, as it is the same thing by legal definition. The stoner says alcohol is bad but weed isn’t, the person on pharmaceuticals says but these came from a real doctor unlike weed. To the person who isn’t using or abusing any substances when they get into a vehicle you all are a liability.


    I wonder if C+C text while driving.

  • Drone pollinators inc.

    This article is about weed [edit]. You will get a D U I now if caught . After prop 64 everything changed get a grip.

  • Fidlin the ganjo

    Well you cant arrest all of humboldts driver can you? piece if gum and some visine and those jackers will never know. A throwback to hichschool.

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