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.”