MUSKOGEE — Even after smoking a joint packed with half a gram of marijuana, taking one and a half kief hits and hitting one small dab, Emily Davoud, 26, breezed through the course and passed her first sobriety test.
But RayAnn Crofford failed hers after just two hits of kief. A kief and a dab both provide a concentrated dose of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.
Davoud and Crofford were two of nine Muskogee-area residents who participated in Driver Impairment Awareness Day on Friday July 12 at the Muskogee-Davis Regional Airport, where they got behind the wheel to test different sorts of impairments, including drinking, smoking and texting.
Steven Warrior, a drug recognition expert with the Muskogee Police Department, said everyone is affected differently by marijuana, which can make it difficult for police officers to discern drivers’ levels of impairment.
Officers undergo about a six-month process to become drug recognition experts, a process that Warrior said was “harder than college.”
Davoud, who managed not to knock over any cones in either of her test drives, said she thinks she has a high tolerance to marijuana, which made the course easier for her. On a normal day, Davoud smokes a couple of bowls of marijuana with her morning coffee, smokes about a joint’s worth during her break at work and then smokes a blunt or two to get to sleep.
“I’ve never gotten so high to the point that I felt like I couldn’t drive,” Davoud said.
But when it came time to do her sobriety test, Davoud said she was a little scared.
“He wouldn’t have arrested me, but he could tell that I had been consuming something — that I was high,” Davoud said.
When she got behind the wheel for her second run, she said she felt “really, really, really, really high” and stayed quiet through most of the ride. She managed to get through the course without knocking over any cones and was met with applause as she came to a stop. But when it came time to take her second sobriety test, she failed.
Chief Deputy Michael Mahan of the Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office said that in his 25 years working in law enforcement, he’s never seen an event like this — one that gives police officers a chance “to see different types of driving behavior based on what the individual is doing.”
“It gives our deputies the opportunity to conduct field sobriety testing so they can also see the difference between someone under the influence of alcohol or under the influence of marijuana,” Mahan said.
Like Davoud, Crofford said she smokes a lot of marijuana regularly but struggled to do well on the test because she rarely drives. She started in the texting group but moved to the smoking group, while her husband, Rick Crofford, was in the drinking group.
She said she thought driving while texting was “insanely more distracting.”
Rick Crofford said he’s never driven under the influence before but wanted to take this opportunity to help law enforcement be better equipped to stop dangerous drivers on the road.
“I’m very anti-drinking-and-driving. My kids are shocked that I’m doing this,” he said.
With six kids between them, Rayann and Rick Crofford said they hope their participation will motivate their children to stay safe on the road.
The test showed that drunken drivers completed the course more quickly than the recommended 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Rick Crofford finished his first run in 1 minute and 49 seconds, while Davoud finished hers in 2 minutes and 59 seconds, though she sped up in her second round, finishing in 2 minutes and 21 seconds.
While Davoud managed to pass her first sobriety test, even after ingesting enough marijuana to rate herself a 6 out of 10, Logan Beasley failed her first test after having a quarter of a joint with kief.
“I was hoping I could do it and not get a DUI, but the reality of that is not everybody can,” Beasley said.
Warrior encourages marijuana users to know where they are getting their marijuana and to be sure of the THC levels in what they are ingesting.
“Do not drive once you have consumed marijuana,” Warrior said. “It can impair your ability up to 24 hours depending upon the user. So if you’re going to consume, just don’t drive. It’s pretty simple.”