Drugged driving crashes on the rise in Ohio

Posted at 6:58 PM, May 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-13 05:29:54-04

New statistics out show that drugged driving is becoming a bigger problem in Ohio, and the number of related crashes recently reached a new record in recent years.

“There are a lot of people taking risks," said Sgt. Rob Gable of the Ohio State Highway Patrol. "It’s just not necessary, it’s just not something that has to happen.”

In 2015, there were 4,149 drugged-driving related crashes in Ohio, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. That was an increase of 23 percent from 2011. Some of the crashes were fatal, others resulted in injuries or property damage.

"It's a major concern of ours," said Gable.

Gable said he and his colleagues tend to find more drug-impaired drivers on highways and major roads of Cleveland's east side. That's because those who want drugs come from the outlying areas into the city to get them. But the problem certainly has no boundaries.

"Unfortunately, they use whatever they need to get well again then go back to driving," he said

Gable said what is troubling is that once drivers get to the city to obtain their drugs, they cannot wait to get home to ingest them.

“Marijuana is probably the most common drug we’re running into," he added. "Heroin is probably second to that.”

Gable added that what is important for marijuana users to know is that even after they feel the high has worn off, they can still show signs of being impaired on the road.