Police train to spot drivers impaired by drugs
Cops stepping up prescription drug enforcement Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
Nearly 300 Idahoans died in accidents involving impaired drivers between 2008 and 2010.
Thursday, police from all over southern Idaho gathered to learn how to recognize not only those drivers who've been drinking but also those who are impaired by drugs. This comes just as police prepare for stepped up enforcement through the holiday season.
The results of drunk driving are clear and devastating, but you don't have to take a single sip to destroy lives on the roads.
"We're finding more and more people impaired on medicine and no alcohol at all," said Larry Moore from the Boise Police Department. "We've had a number of accidents this year from that."
That's why these police are learning how to identify those who are impaired without the stench of alcohol to guide them.
The eyes are the biggest giveaway. If they're glassy or dialated, and jerk back and forth, drugs are the likely culprit.
"The more you look for them the more apparent they are." said Andrew Canfield, a deputy in Adams County.
Police say commonly used anti depressants like Wellbutrin and Zoloft, can cause the biggest issues for driver safety. especially if they're unfamiliar with their effects.
"It's a big problem," said Canfield. "People are using a lot of drugs and prescription drugs for the most part."
And now there's pot to worry about as well. It's legal in our neighboring Washington State and you don't have to smoke it. Eating it in candy or cookies avoids the tell-tale smell.
Starting Dec. 17, police will put what they've learned about spotting drugged drivers into action with increased enforcement through Jan. 2.
Proof how disorienting drugs and alcohol can be. Studies show 60 percent of impaired driving accidents happen on straight roads.