Drugged driving is on the rise in York County

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YORK COUNTY, Pa. -- Drugged driving is on the rise in York County, an area known for paving the way in the fight against it, according to the County's Chief Prosecutor.

The drug with the most drivers under its influence? Marijuana, then depressants like Klonopin and Xanax, and then, opiates. Police say they're also seeing a major increase of multiple drugs in a driver's system, adding to roadway dangers.

When you hop in your car, law enforcement agencies warn you could be driving on the same road as someone under the influence of a number of drugs.

"It's not just one - the guy you're arresting that's drunk with alcohol has something else in his symptom, where you're getting a lot of poly-drug cases, the guy who has alcohol and marijuana, the guy who has marijuana and his depression medication in his system," said Scott George, an officer with Northeastern Regional Police and a trained Drug Recognition Expert (DRE).

The combination of drugs is the biggest problem for law enforcement agencies in the area, paired with marijuana use while driving.

"I cannot stress enough marijuana still remains the big problem drug," said Tim Barker, a Chief Deputy Prosecutor for York County.

Even though marijuana may be legal medically, Barker says using it while driving will get you a DUI.

"Not only do we see solely for marijuana impairment, the amount that is in combination with other drugs, and I'm not just talking about alcohol, I'm talking about especially in combination with heroin, other opioids," said Barker.

Barker says misuse of prescription drugs may have lead to Tiger Woods recent arrest and that misuse is not uncommon among drivers hitting the road.

"Why has a person who has been prescribed this now having an erratic driving impact from their consumption of their prescription? Well, they weren't taking it consistently," explained Barker.

Many times, the inconsistency is paired with a lack of knowledge on the drugs side effects, according to George.

"Its: I take three different prescription medications for my anxiety and such, and nobody conveys to us that it impairs you," explained George.

Barker says the best thing to do? Read your prescriptions bottle. Most say do not operate heavy machinery or drive. Talk to your doctor about if you should be driving to avoid becoming another drugged-driving statistic.