Ohio State Highway Patrol sees rise in drugged driving

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Ohio State Highway Patrol is becoming increasingly worried over the number of drivers high on drugs.

“[It] puts another burden on the sober driver,” Ohio State Highway Patrol Sgt. Frank Simmons said. “Who has to be more defensive, who has to take more precaution.”

Last  year, at this time 153 cases of drugged driving were reported in Montgomery County. This year, already 170 cases have been reported.

“These are things that we are making efforts to combat,” Sgt. Simmons said. “And get these people off the road.””

One of those people is Kristopher Phoenix. He was found slummed over, behind the wheel of his fuel tanker truck–still running–last week at a BP gas station outside Cincinnati after overdosing on heroin.

The deadly I-75 explosion in April was also tied to drugged driving. An autopsy report revealed 30-year-old Andrew Brunsman had alcohol and marijuana in his system at the time of the crash. Brunsman could be seen driving the wrong way on the highway before crashing into a gasoline tanker truck, triggering a massive explosion.

Sgt. Simmons says the impairment levels of drugged driving compared to drunk driving isn’t much different.

“An opiate will do practically the same thing,” Sgt. Simmons said. “It practically puts people to sleep almost.”

If you see someone who appears impaired, Sgt. Simmons says don’t hesitate to call pound 677 and report it.

“If you see an impaired driver or think they may be an impaired driver and call that number,” Sgt. Simmons said. “We’ll get you connected to a state patrol post and we can possibly get a trooper out there to investigate.”

WDTN.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s