By Fred Halstied

LAS VEGAS (KXNT) – It was the experience of driving high while remaining stone cold sober to its dangers.

Members of the Las Vegas media were invited to Nevada Highway Patrol headquarters to see through marijuana-impaired goggles. Participants wearing the weed goggles were asked to drive a car, walk a straight line, pedal a bicycle and even drive go-karts with their impaired senses.

“We care about your use of marijuana once you get behind the wheel and drive,” said Trooper Chelsea Stuenkel, the Public Information Officer with the Nevada Highway Patrol. “Those using marijuana cannot judge their own level of impairment and need to understand that any amount of consumption puts people at a great risk of an impaired crash, injury and even death when behind the wheel,” she said.

From March 20 to April 11, the Zero Fatalities program will be reminding Nevadans to never risk marijuana impaired driving with an educational campaign. Part of the campaign includes Nevada’s first-ever marijuana impaired Public Service Announcement.

Though recreational use of marijuana is legal in Nevada, the use of marijuana prior to, or in the act of driving, is illegal and a serious crime. Those found driving high will be given a DUI. The average cost of a DUI is $10,000.

“Just like alcohol, if your plans involve marijuana, make sure you plan a safe and sober ride home,” said Stuenkel. “Never risk your life, or the lives of others by driving impaired,” she said.

Currently state law does not differentiate penalties for marijuana impaired driving from alcohol impaired driving. The penalties are the same regardless of the substance, or combination of substances.


  1. Thank you NHP….Education is key. Making the public aware will go a long way in preventing fatalities with marijuana impaired driving. While the goggles were a great idea, they do not entirely represent the significant impairments to vision processing and perception that marijuana causes. Aspects are worse than the goggles show. The Journal of the the American Medical Association published a study that showed the retinal ganglion cells are dysfunctional with chronic marijuana use and previous study had showed the dysfunction to be worse with acute, immediate use of marijuana. Marijuana and driving impairment is very different than alcohol. But, marijuana impaired driving is just as dangerous. IMMAD is company that studies technology to determine impairment of visual perception and processing with marijuana. IMMAD-Impairment Measurement Marijuana and Driving—is technology under development that early studies are showing it to be very sensitive to impairment to drive with marijuana. The science is complex, but the test is a short, objective test using stripes in a cell phone or tablet application. IMMAD is a test of function. So it has fewer of the “ambiguities” of biologics such as blood, urine, breath or saliva. We need more research on driving in general.

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