Impaired driving: LAPD shatters myths about hitting the road drunk, high

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The Los Angeles Police Department is aiming to shatter myths about drug and alcohol use when deciding to drive a car.

The Los Angeles Police Department is aiming to shatter myths about drug and alcohol use when deciding to drive a car.

"Someone who is driving impaired is going to lose their concentration, their coordination," says LAPD Detective Bill Bustos, who spoke Tuesday at an event at LAPD's Valley Traffic Division in support of National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week.

A wrecked car was on display at the event to serve as an example of what can happen when drivers under the influence crash.

The car was involved in a crash last May, when a 21-year-old man was killed after his car sheared a fire hydrant and crashed through a building in Canoga Park. The car split in half.

Police later determined that the driver was not only drunk - he had also been smoking marijuana.

On average, in the city of Los Angeles, 867 young adults are arrested each year for impaired driving.

This week, the LAPD is partnering with the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence to help spread awareness on our roads.

Jasmine Walker, 16, identifies herself as an addict, who found help at the Phoenix House Academy.

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Walker said when impaired, you don't recognize the danger to yourself and others.

"When you get behind the wheel, you are just confused and you're engaged in the drug and what you want the outcome to be, so you don't recognize that," Walker said.

Kristine Callender with the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence says teens can learn myths regarding drug and alcohol use from social media and from friends.

"These teenagers are trying to get likes (on social media) so they share bad information," said Callender, who wants to teach Los Angeles youth about new ways to "say no" to drugs.

MORE: New CA law puts fine on smoking pot while driving

"If they're at a party and someone is asking them to do drugs, we teach them to pick up your phone and pretend someone is calling and just say, hey I'll be right back and just walk away from it," Callender said.

Bustos said the message is even more timely, given the legalization of recreational marijuana use in California.

"People have the misconception that because marijuana is now legal, now they consume it and now they can drive, which is not the case," Bustos said.

Walker said some of the education falls on parents, saying they sometimes have no idea what their kids have access to.

Related Topics:
drunk drivinglapddrivingDUIdui crashroad safety
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