Drugged Driving Up

Law enforcement officials in Kentucky report a major prescription-drug problem among drivers. One police chief said that more than half of his DUI (Driving While Under the Influence) arrests now involve drugs. In a single month, 24 of 27 DUI cases in Martin District Court involved drugs, not alcohol, according to court records.

Unfortunately, quick and easy Breathalyzer tests, routinely used in drunken driving arrests, don't work in drug cases. Instead, blood samples must be sent to the state crime laboratory, where a nine-month backlog jeopardizes prosecution.

In the year 2000, one of every three motorists stopped on a first-offense DUI in eastern Kentucky was alleged to be impaired by drugs rather than alcohol.

It would appear that drugged driving is a growing but largely unrecognized problem.


  • Law Enforcement Reports Growing Amount of Driving while Using Drugs.
  • Pikeville, KY: Associated Press, January 20, 2003

Filed Under: Drinking and Driving