27TH ANNUAL CRIME PREVENTION GUIDE 27 It is an offence to drive, or have care or control of a motor vehicle, while your ability to drive is impaired by alcohol or any other drug. Impairment is shown by physical symptoms, such as slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, the smell of alcohol, unsteadiness on your feet or a lack of co-ordination. It may also be shown by the way you drive. IMPAIRED DRIVING IS THE GREATEST CAUSE OF CRIMINAL INJURY AND DEATH. It is essential to understand the effect of any drug you are taking before operating a motor vehicle. Mood-altering (psychoactive) drugs are of particular concern because they can change the way you think, behave and physically respond. The following is a partial list of mood-altering drugs: DEPRESSANTS: • Alcohol • Sedatives (Halcion) • Minor Tranquillizers (Valium, Ativan) • Narcotic analgesics (heroin, morphine, codeine, Talwin) STIMULANTS: • Amphetamines • Cocaine OTHER: • Hallucinogens (LSD, MDA, mescaline) • Cannabis (marijuana, hashish) Some prescription mood-altering drugs include antidepressants such as Prozac and other medications for depression, manic depression and psychosis. For information on the effects and potential side effects of a mood-altering drug ask your pharmacist or doctor. Mixing alcohol with other drugs can cause a serious reaction. This is especially dangerous when the use of a motor vehicle is involved. For example: • Two drinks of an alcoholic beverage in combination with one normal dose of a common tranquilizer equals the impairment level produced by six drinks. Remember that one bottle of beer is equal to one and a quarter ounces of liquor or four ounces of wine. • Two drinks of an alcoholic beverage and one light dose of marijuana can equal the impairment produced by five drinks. If you are taking medication or a drug, know what the results of "mixing" will be before drinking. This advice is true whether the drug is by a doctor's prescription, "off the shelf" or "off the street". IMPAIRED DRIVING