SHERIDAN (WNE) — There were 20 drug-involved crashes in Wyoming in May, six more than in the previous month and one less than in March, which had the most so far this year.
According to statistics provided by the Governor’s Council on Impaired Driving, there have been 77 drug-involved traffic crashes through May 2019, 36 of those have been drug-involved crashes with injuries. There have been four deaths this year due to drug-involved crashes; the same a year ago. At this time last year, there were 78 drug-related crashes.
Across the state, drug-involved crashes were going down each year from 2015 through 2017 but saw a slight increase in 2018. Fatalities due to drug involved crashes have gone down since 2015 and continue to stay down. There were 12 fatalities in 2018, nine less than a year before.
Drug-involved refers to the presence of any substance other than alcohol. Driving under the influence of drugs fall under the same state statute as alcohol and will be prosecuted the same under Wyoming Statute 32-5-133, said Sheridan County Sheriff Allen Thompson.
“Not only are we seeing a high number of people driving under the influence of alcohol, but now we are seeing an increase in numbers of driving under the influence of other substances,” said Byron Oedekoven, executive director of Wyoming Association of Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police.
Right now, marijuana is the drug most commonly used when driving under the influence of a substance other than alcohol Oedekoven said. WASCOP has been collecting data from all 23 counties across Wyoming and puts the data into yearly reports for each county.