- August 1, 2014

Local News Catches Austin Driver Smoking Weed

Whether they realized it or not, a report on “distracted driving” aired by MyFoxAustin on Thursday night caught one driver using more than just a cell phone.

Fox 7 reporter Ann Wyatt Little was attempting to explain why the Austin City Council is considering a ban on the use of mobile devices while driving, and her cameraman was doing a good job of illustrating all the distracted drivers buzzing around town.

The matter quite a serious one, at that. A recent survey found that 90 percent of Austin drivers have seen people using smartphones while driving, which increases the likelihood of accidents. The city council is considering some serious action that could see people getting pulled over and ticketed for using their devices while driving.

But the, at about 1:06 through her report, Little’s cameraman caught a driver doing something he probably didn’t want to be broadcast all over town: he appeared to be smoking a bowl. See for yourself in the image above.

The pot-loving driver was spotted by the eagle eyed commenters over at Reddit Austin, who promptly declared that he must be “the next Genghis Kahn.” And while the majority view over there is that he was smoking pot, there were some detractors.

Nah man…he’s just…using his tobacco pipe…while driving…like everybody else does,” said one user. “Nah this is one of those new fire power cell phones,” another added.

On top of all that, the unknown driver also seems to be sporting an expired registration sticker, and he’s wearing headphones. So, probably not the best cover for a mid-commute toking session. This guy should consider himself lucky it’s just the local news that caught him sparking up, and not the Austin Police Department.

Watch the segment here:

MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Even though Austin is now home to the Marijuana Policy Project, one of the nation’s most effective legalization groups which predicted legalization in Texas within five years, pot is still verboten.

While Austin has cultivated a famously lax attitude toward smoking in public — and established police procedures let Travis County residents avoid arrest for small possession charges — a great many people still go to jail for dope around these parts, and the law can be especially prickly once you cross the county line.

Funny as this accidental-yet-very-Austin moment may be, drugged driving is never okay. A first offense in Texas can land you in jail for several days and saddle you with up to $2,000 in fines. It only gets worse for repeat offenders. And even if you don’t get caught, there’s always a chance you could end up on the local news. So don’t do it, okay?