Troopers say more people are drugged driving in West Virginia - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Troopers say more people are drugged driving in West Virginia

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CHARLESTON, West Virginia -

West Virginia State Police troopers said more people are doing drugs and driving.

"We have to focus on the fact that many people are driving motor vehicles in this state and in the country on something other than alcohol," said First Sergeant Jay Powers.

First Sgt. Jay Powers, with the West Virginia State Police, said the number of drugged drivers is going up.

"They are seeing more instances of drugged driving than they are alcohol driving," said Sgt. Powers.

Troopers said drugged driving signs are similar to drunk driving signs.

"If you are on a depressant, your movements are going to be very slow, you're going to be slow to stop. If you are on some type of stimulate, cocaine for example, your movements are going to be very rapid."

Sgt. Powers said troopers see drivers on meth, oxycontin and heroin the most.

Laws are changing to adapt to a growing number of drugged drivers. Blood samples are now treated like breathalyzers in West Virginia. Unlike in the past, if you seem under the influence of drugs and not alcohol, troopers can ask you for a blood test instead of a breath test.

"So it really helps speed the process up," said Sgt. Powers.

Sgt. Powers said it's a good start to helping law enforcement combat drugged driving. The West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles reports 265 people were convicted of drugged driving in West Virginia Last year. There have been 254 convictions so far this year.