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Drugged driving on the rise in Broome County

BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — As the drug epidemic grows in our area, Broome County Sheriff’s Deputies say so are the number of drug-related crashes.

“Lately it just seems like to me that there are more serious accidents that are taking place on people who are under the influence of drugs,” said Broome County Sheriff’s deputy Kevin Griffiths.

Law enforcement in Broome County is concerned about the rising number of drivers under the influence of drugs. “Problems that we have with drugged driving is people just aren’t trained out there to recognize it,” said Griffiths.

That’s where Griffiths steps in. He’s a trained drug recognition expert, or DRE, working on the front lines in the fight against drug addiction.

He helps determine which category of drugs a person is using. He says the problem is so bad, many drivers need to be revived using Narcan just moments after being pulled over. “Very often that is the case and I get calls all the time for that as a DRE and from a DRE’s point of view I always tell them you’ve got a solid case there because the only thing naloxone works on is an narcotic analgesic,” said Griffiths.

For him its an unsettling sight to witness, since many of these incidents lead to serious injuries or even death. “Its terrifying,” he said.  “I’ve had instances before where the person regains consciousness and says they have no clue what just happened.”

Griffiths hopes the crackdown on the roads can play a larger role in helping the drug epidemic. He says they’re working on getting more equipment to help officers determine which drugs someone has been using right there at the scene.

Amanda Nord

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