Drugged Driving on the Rise in Pennsylvania

According to AAA, there were 53,000 arrests for driving under the influence (DUI) in Pennsylvania last year. While there is an assumption that a majority of these incidents involve drunk driving, law enforcement officials are finding more and more cases dealing with drugged driving. Of the 53,000 arrests in 2016, only half involved alcohol; the other 26,000 involved drugs.

Recently, AAA held a Drugged Driving Summit in Harrisburg to address Pennsylvania’s biggest obstacles when it comes to drugged drivers. State legislators, law enforcement, health care and other experts gathered at the summit to talk about how to better enforce field testing and prosecution of drugged drivers, among other topics.

One hot topic is the possibility of legalizing marijuana in Pennsylvania. AAA and the PA DUI Association are both against legalizing the drug, because it would mean increased availability, and in turn, more users. Among marijuana users, there are always going to be some who make the destructive decision of getting behind the wheel. This could translate into higher rates of drugged driving accidents and fatalities. Impaired driving is dangerous no matter what substance it involves, and AAA leaders hope their message will be taken seriously by legislators in order to prevent even more of an increase in this dangerous behavior.

Here are some signs to look for if you believe someone may be driving under the influence:

  • Quick acceleration or deceleration
  • Weaving, swerving or zig-zagging across the road or not staying within the designated lane
  • Driving anywhere other than on a road designated for vehicles
  • Almost striking an object, curb, or vehicle
  • Slow response to traffic signals (e.g. sudden stop or delayed start)
  • Driving with headlights off at night
  • Driving slower than 10 mph below the speed limit
  • Turning abruptly or illegally
  • Driving into opposing traffic on the wrong side of the road

Remember to always be aware of the motorists around you. If you believe another driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, maintain a safe distance away from them and contact your local authorities to report your suspicions.

Source: abc27.com

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