Police Stop More Drugged Drivers on Pennsylvania Roads
State data shows there are fewer people who are getting behind the wheel while drunk in Pennsylvania today than in previous years. However, more people are operating motor vehicles while under the influence of drugs, something that may be attributed to the growing heroin and prescription drug crises in the region (and across the country).
According to the data, nearly 40 percent of driving under the influence (DUI) arrests in 2014 — the most recent year for which there is complete information — were for people who were driving under the influence of drugs, and not alcohol. Numbers from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System also reveal that in 2013, motorists impaired by drugs accounted for nearly the same amount of fatal accidents nationwide as drunk drivers.
Officials believe rise in drug use to blame
Government officials and highway safety advocates place a large portion of the blame on the surge in abuse of prescription drugs and heroin. The Governors Highway Safety Association released a warning statement about the dangers of drugged driving in September 2015 to help deliver more information to the public about the dangers. Officials from the organization say they also believe that states easing penalties on medical and recreational use of marijuana is another factor.
Overall, however, despite the 10 percent increase in drug-related DUI arrests, the state made approximately 1,500 fewer DUI arrests in 2014 than in 2013. State data does not specifically say which drug was involved in each arrest, so it is impossible to draw a completely accurate correlation to any individual drug.
To learn more about your options if you’re facing DUI charges, speak with a dedicated Reading defense lawyer at David R. Eshelman: A Professional Corporation.