Driving under the influence of any substance that can impair one’s ability to operate a vehicle safely is a significant public health concern. When you drive while high, you risk your life and the lives of others. Not only that, driving under the influence (DUI) is illegal and if arrested or charged, may have a major negative impact on your life.
Can You Drive On Shrooms? Quick Answer:
- Driving while on psilocybin mushrooms is unsafe and impairs driving abilities.
- Psilocybin can alter perception and cognitive functions, greatly affecting driver safety.
- It’s illegal to drive under the influence of shrooms in Canada, with serious legal consequences.
- The same goes for other countries such as the United States.
Magic mushrooms, also known as psilocybin mushrooms, are one such substance that causes psychoactive effects and can alter perception, mood, and cognitive functions. While some may wonder about the feasibility of driving while experiencing the effects of psilocybin, it’s crucial to understand the risks and legal repercussions involved with such an action in Canada.
Psilocybin, the active compound found in magic mushrooms, has been studied for its potential therapeutic benefits. However, when it comes to driving, the altered state induced by psilocybin can severely impair judgement, coordination, and reaction times. Regardless of one’s confidence in their ability to handle such effects, driving while under the influence of shrooms is both dangerous and illegal. The law in Canada treats driving while impaired by drugs with the same severity as driving under the influence of alcohol. The same goes for the United States.
Let’s continue and discover how the influence of magic mushrooms affects your ability to drive and give you the full breakdown on why you should never get behind the wheel when intoxicated.
Understanding Psilocybin and Its Effects
This section thoroughly examines the properties of psilocybin mushrooms, types of mushrooms, their impact on your perception and motor skills, and how they compare to other substances, focusing on their mental health implications and the risks associated with driving.
The Nature of Psilocybin Mushrooms
Psilocybin is a naturally occurring psychoactive compound found in certain species of mushrooms, commonly referred to as ‘shrooms’. The species of mushrooms that contain psilocybin belong to the genus Psilocybe and contain the psychedelic compounds, psilocybin and psilocin. There are many species within the Psilocybe genus, such as Psilocybe cubensis, Psilocybe semilanceata, and Psilocybe cyanescens, among others. Each of these species has distinct characteristics but share the commonality of containing psilocybin, which is responsible for their psychoactive effects.
When ingested, psilocybin is metabolized to psilocin, the chemical responsible for the psychoactive effects. These mushrooms vary widely in potency and can induce profound changes in your perception and state of mind.
How Magic Mushrooms Affect Perception and Motor Skills
Depending on the dosage, the hallucinogenic effect of magic mushrooms – often called a trip – can last for up to 6 hours, with prolonged after-effects. The visual and auditory hallucinations can significantly distort reality. Your spatial awareness and reaction time may also be impaired. Even if you may feel like you’re able to drive – its safe to say that it would be a terrible decision.
These alterations in perception and the potential for disorientation make tasks that require coordination and concentration, such as driving, highly dangerous.
Comparing Psilocybin with Other Substances
Psilocybin is one among several psychoactive substances, each with distinct effects:
- Alcohol: Can reduce inhibitions and impair motor skills.
- LSD (Acid): Produces intense visual effects and can lead to a distorted sense of time.
- MDMA: Often heightens senses and feelings of euphoria.
- Cannabis (Marijuana): May cause relaxation or paranoia, depending on the user and dosage.
Unlike stimulants like MDMA, or depressants like alcohol, psilocybin’s primary effect is on perception, often leading to a completely altered sense of reality.
Driving under the influence of any substance is illegal – and for good reason. We advise you to wait even a couple of hours and consider your safety and the safety of others. Even if no one is hurt, you could be arrested or charged, lose your ability to drive, face criminal consequences and have a record with law enforcement.
Microdosing Mushrooms and The Ability to Drive
Microdosing mushrooms is the practice of taking a small amount – usually around 0.1-0.3 grams or 100-300 mg – which is supposed to be “sub-perceptual”. This means that the typical hallucinogenic effects are not experienced.
But wait – just because you don’t ‘feel’ the effects while microdosing shrooms – you still shouldn’t jump behind the wheel.
Even at low doses, psilocybin can influence judgment and sensory experience. It is not safe to drive under the influence of any amount of psilocybin due to the unpredictable nature of its effects and the potential for sudden onset of hallucinations or changes in sensory perception. Even if it is a small amount, it is a crime to drive under the influence. With using alcohol, many countries have a “legal limit”. With magic mushrooms, there is no such thing.
Mental Health Considerations
Psilocybin may induce temporary feelings of joy or euphoria, but it can also lead to anxiety, paranoia, and exacerbate symptoms of certain mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety disorders. The unpredictability of these reactions, especially while driving, underscores the danger and underscores that driving under the influence of psilocybin is irresponsible and illegal.
Legal Implications of Driving Under the Influence
When you drive under the influence of hallucinogens such as psilocybin (the active substance in “shrooms”), you may face serious legal ramifications under Canadian law, ranging from fines to imprisonment. The same goes for the United States (including states where mushrooms are openly sold, such as Colorado) and other countries around the world.
Laws Pertaining to Driving and Hallucinogens
In Canada, it is illegal to operate a vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol. This is covered under the Criminal Code, specifically for drugs, under “Operation while impaired by drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol” (section 320.14). Driving under the influence of hallucinogens like shrooms falls under this offence, known as driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) or impaired driving.
- Key Legislation:
- Criminal Code (section 320.14)
- Controlled Drugs and Substances Act
Note: Even if shrooms are not detected in your system, any evidence of impairment can lead to charges.
Potential Penalties and Consequences
Upon conviction, you face a spectrum of penalties. These consequences correlate with the severity of the offence and whether it’s a first or subsequent offence.
In Canada, the penalties vary by province – but here is an example of what you would be facing in Ontario:
First Offence in Ontario:
- Fine: Minimum $1,000
- Driving Prohibition: Minimum 1 year
- Possible Imprisonment: Up to 10 years
Second Offence in Ontario:
- Jail Time: Minimum 30 days
- Driving Prohibition: Minimum 3 years
- Possible Imprisonment: Up to 10 years
Subsequent Offences in Ontario:
- Jail Time: Minimum 120 days
- Driving Prohibition: Lifetime (may be reduced after 10 years)
- Possible Imprisonment: Up to 10 years
Additional consequences can include mandatory education or treatment programs, vehicle impoundment, and community service. Suspensions and revocations of your driver’s licence are also common.
Arrested for Driving on Shrooms? Find a DUI Attorney
If you’ve already made a mistake and have been arrested for driving on shrooms – you should take your case to a lawyer.
If charged, your defence options can vary. Seeking legal advice from a defence attorney is crucial. They can help you navigate the complexities of the law and construct a defence based on the specifics of your case.
Potential defence strategies may involve challenging the:
- Procedure: Was there a lawful reason for the traffic stop?
- Testing Accuracy: Were the drug recognition evaluations conducted properly?
- Chain of Custody: Were the samples collected and stored in accordance with legal standards?
Be aware that in Canada, a DUI/DUID arrest is a serious matter and a conviction comes with stringent penalties that affect your daily life and future travel plans and job prospects. It is in your interest to understand these laws and abide by them.
Safe Driving Practices
Driving requires your full attention and unimpaired judgement. This section emphasizes the importance of not operating a vehicle while under the influence of psilocybin or any other hallucinogens due to the severe safety risks involved.
Why You Should Avoid Driving on Psilocybin
Psilocybin is a known hallucinogen found in certain mushrooms, often referred to as “shrooms”. It significantly impairs your sensory perception and cognitive functions making it extremely dangerous to drive while under its influence. Here are specific reasons to avoid driving after consuming psilocybin:
- Impaired Judgement: Your ability to make rational decisions rapidly deteriorates, increasing the likelihood of hazardous driving choices.
- Altered Perception: You may experience visual and auditory distortions, which can lead to misjudging distances and reacting inappropriately to driving conditions.
- Delayed Reaction Time: Your ability to react quickly to unexpected situations is severely compromised, making it hard to navigate the fast-paced driving environment.
- Legal Consequences: Driving under the influence of psilocybin is illegal and can result in severe legal repercussions, including fines, license suspension, and imprisonment.
Safer Alternatives to Driving While Impaired
To ensure your safety and the safety of others, consider these alternatives if you’re impaired:
- Designate a Sober Driver: Plan ahead by choosing a friend who will remain sober and can drive you.
- Public Transportation: Utilize buses or trains if available.
- Many cities and towns have public transit options, depending on the time of day.
- Plan ahead: if you are going to need a way home, know the schedule and stick to it.
- Ride-Sharing Services or Taxis: Use ride-sharing apps to find a reliable ride home.
- Most cities and towns in Canada have Uber and Lyft.
- Local taxi companies are often available at all hours of the night, with a dedicated dispatcher to connect you with a driver.
- Plan in advance: set up your account and add your payment method.
- Respect the Drivers: even if you are tripping, always treat the drivers with respect and act as normal as possible.
- Stay Put: If possible, stay where you are until you are no longer under the influence.
- It is never worth the risk to drive under the influence. Even after waiting a few hours, you will still be feeling some effects of psilocybin, so just wait it out when possible.
By being responsible and planning alternative ways to arrive safely, you help prevent accidents and ensure the well-being of everyone on the road. Please only drive when you are sober. Rarely are there no consequences to drunk or impaired driving. Your decisions can save lives, including your own.
Peer Influences on Impaired Driving Behaviour
Social dynamics and peer pressure play a critical role in shaping one’s decision to drive under the influence. You may encounter groups where friends endorse or discourage such risky behaviours based on their personal experiences with magic mushrooms. It is important to remember that any level of impaired driving can have serious legal and health implications.
Do not let anyone sway your judgement – if you are feeling peer pressure to drive while on shrooms, stand strong and consider telling your friends the risks and implications listed above.
Public Health Initiatives and Harm Reduction
Public health entities in Canada advocate for harm reduction and education as necessary tools to mitigate risks associated with impaired driving. Safe driving campaigns often address a spectrum of substances, implicitly including magic mushrooms. They seek to inform you about how your safety and that of others can be compromised by driving under the influence.
- Main goal: Ensuring roads are safe for everyone.
- Strategies: Educational programs, legal enforcement, and promoting alternatives to impaired driving (e.g., designated driver programs).
Harm reduction aims not just at prevention but also at minimizing the potential risks when use does occur. We hope to contribute to the goals of public health with this article.
Use Magic Mushrooms Responsibly and Have a Safe Trip
Please be safe and never drive on shrooms. We’ve prepared a ton of useful content to help make your trip on magic mushrooms comfortable and fun. One of the most important parts of psychedelic experiences is set and setting. It’s good to know the best ways to take shrooms, and have already figured out what fun things to do on shrooms that you’ll find enjoyable.
Thanks for reading and safe tripping – Mirielle