ALEA shares concerns about drug related DUI’s

Published: Mar. 19, 2023 at 5:11 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - What once was a religious celebration in Ireland is now the biggest day for beer consumption, followed by the third most popular day for drinking alcohol in the United States.

With more people overindulging in alcohol comes the chances of more impaired drivers potentially being on the road.

Jeremy Burkett with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency says that wasn’t the case this year.

“We have not seen anything with direct correlation to St Patrick’s Day,” said Burkett.

Burkett says there haven’t been any correlations in past years either.

Although ALEA is concerned about increased incidents on the road regarding illegal and legal drugs, which could affect drivers 24/7.

Besides alcohol, officers are seeing drivers operating vehicles while using drugs like Xanax, oxycontin, and, most often, fentanyl.

“We’re also seeing issues with substances being laced, so you got candy and other things they are taking these narcotics, marijuana which is going to be your THC, and they are lacing candy,” said Burkett.

With officers seeing more younger people getting involved with these narcotics, Burkett says parents need to talk to their children about prescription drugs. Explaining not to give their pills to others and not to take others’ pills, even if they look like the medication they take.

“Just because you are with a friend and you may have forgotten your pill bottle, or you have forgotten your prescription, don’t take theirs because you don’t know where it comes from,” said Burkett.

While driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs is an issue officers see year-round, Burkett says more issues arise with people on spring break.

You can’t control other drivers’ decisions, but Burkett says eliminating distractions and driving with a defense posture could save you and those in your vehicle’s life.

ALEA has also released other safety tips In their third annual Think Smart Before you Start campaign

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