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State troopers warn drugged driving is on the rise in Ohio

Published: Feb. 9, 2022 at 6:35 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Drivers on drugs continue to get behind the wheel and put your life at risk.

19 Investigates found drugged driving is on the rise in Ohio.

When you think of impaired driving and OVIs, you may picture drunken drivers and too much alcohol.

But that’s not always the case.

State troopers told us drugged driving is a big concern, from prescription drugs to illegal drugs.

19 Investigates found Ohio State Highway Patrol made 111,633 OVI arrests from 2017 to 2021, according to OSHP statistics.

26,681 of those OVIs involved a drug.

On average, state troopers made 5,336 OVI arrests involving drugs every year in that time period.

“That may be marijuana and another drug, or it could be alcohol and an illicit drug such as marijuana or narcotics or something like that. That’s impairing their ability to drive that vehicle. So that’s a trend we’re starting to see in Ohio, and that’s what’s concerning or alarming to law enforcement, is that while we’re seeing the OVIs increase, we’re seeing drug impairment increased as well,” Lt. Nate Dennis with Ohio State Highway Patrol said.

19 Investigates discovered state troopers made slightly more OVI arrests for drugs last year compared to 2020.

We also found most drugged driving arrests involved a drug other than marijuana.

OVI arrests for only marijuana were about half of that.

“Our number one priority is that everyone gets home safely, and at the end of the day, we don’t have to knock on any loved one’s doors and say that a loved one’s not coming home,” Lt. Dennis said.

Another big concern is mixing drugs and driving.

State troopers said this can be especially dangerous.

You can call #677 on the highway to report impaired drivers.

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