Authorities sound alarm: Drugged drivers are on the rise - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Authorities sound alarm: Drugged drivers are on the rise

The study shows from 2007 to 2014 the number of drugged drivers went up by four percent. (Source: WAFB) The study shows from 2007 to 2014 the number of drugged drivers went up by four percent. (Source: WAFB)
The study shows the number of people while driving while on drugs has gone up, and authorities are sounding the alarm. (Source: WAFB) The study shows the number of people while driving while on drugs has gone up, and authorities are sounding the alarm. (Source: WAFB)
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

A new study from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration says drunk driving numbers are down, but there is another danger on the road and the problem is growing.

The study shows the number of people while driving while on drugs has gone up, and authorities are sounding the alarm.

For years authorities have been cracking down on drunk driving and have been rigorously promoting awareness. Now, based on the study, law enforcement like Louisiana State Police will have to become more aware themselves.

"We have seen a decrease nationwide with amount of drunk drivers on the roadways, but with that being said, we have seen an increase in the amount of drugged drivers," said Jared Sandifer with Louisiana State Police.

The study shows from 2007 to 2014 the number of drivers arrested in the nation for being under the influence of alcohol went down by 30 percent, but the number of drugged drivers went up by four percent; drugs like marijuana and even prescription drugs like Oxycotin.

Pharmacist Susan Kemp with Bocage Pharmacy says you should be cautious getting behind the wheel after taking any prescribed medication.

"Anything like ibuprofen can make you drowsy. It doesn't affect most people but if you're that one and have that wreck behind that car it's serious," said Kemp.

It could be as serious as getting charged with DWI.

Trooper Sandifer doesn't believe most people are purposely getting behind the wheel after taking medication, but they need to realize the risks.

"I think a lot of times with drugged driving, people don't realize that those narcotics are impairing their system much as alcohol does. And I think it's just an education deal. We need people to understand that when you take those illegal narcotics are controlled, dangerous substances that your system is going to be impaired," he said.

State Police say if you are suspected of drugged driving, instead of a breathalyser test, they will give you a blood or urine test.

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