The Governor's Council for Impaired Driving (GCID) is aiming to spread awareness of the dangers of driving under the influence of marijuana and some prescription drugs with their sponsorship of the "New DUI" campaign, according to a press release.

A 2016 Executive Summary of Alcohol and Crime in Wyoming released by the Wyoming Association of Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police showed that while alcohol related arrests have been on the decline since 2010, there has been an increase in the number of drug related arrests in the same time frame. A separate study released by the University of Wyoming's Survey and Analysis Center last June showed that some Wyoming residents don't believe that drugged driving is the same as drunk driving.

Sheridan Police Chief and GCID Co-Chair Rich Adriaens said in a statement that "Everyone knows what can happen when you drink and drive, but a lot of people in Wyoming don't know what can happen when you drive under the influence of marijuana and prescription drugs...Drugged driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving, so they come with identical legal consequences. There's a lack of awareness."

The campaign has been organized to combat the lack of awareness. Ads will appear across cinema screens, radio, and social media over the next year. A new website has also been created to support the campaign.

Adriaens added in the release that "drugged driving DUI isn't new to law enforcement, but it is new to the public" and that law enforcement officials have been "preparing and training our folks to recognize what marijuana and opioids look like behind the wheel...so if you're under the influence of anything, we'll know."

For more information about the GCID or the campaign, please contact Ernie Johnson by calling 307-351-8614 or visit TheNewDUI.org.