DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Dayton Police are expecting the legalization of recreational marijuana to play a role in an increase in the number of crashes.

Dayton Police are educating with the phrase, “if you feel different, you drive different.”

Regardless of the passing of Issue 2, it remains illegal to drive impaired by marijuana. Just like with drinking and driving, penalties will apply, like losing your license.

Drug impaired driving prevention is a key focus for police. In Dayton, their strategy is enforcement, education, and working with the community.

Sergeant Cairns, supervisor of the Dayton Traffic Services Unit, says when it comes to Issue 2 and driving, they want to tackle it from multiple different angles.

“Trying to reduce the crashes and the injury accidents. And we have shown through these studies that there’s just as many marijuana injuries, accidents in the recent years as there are alcohol related injury accidents,” said Cairns.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in recent years, drug impaired driving has become a major highway safety issue. A study conducted by the NHTSA found that marijuana can slow reaction time, impair judgement of distance, and decrease coordination.

Dayton Police say moving forward, they will be looking out for these types of impairments.