Seminar helps law enforcement and prosecutors focus on 'drug driving'

04/01/2015 02:39 PM

COVINGTON – The Kentucky Office of the Attorney General is hosting a regional seminar this week in Covington to train police officers and prosecutors about the effective prosecution of a growing problem in the Commonwealth of Kentucky – DUI cases involving drugs.

Results of a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 2013/2014 survey showed an increase in drug-positive drivers using medications (from 3.9% in 2007 to 4.9% in 2013–2014), and a larger increase in the prevalence of illegal drugs (from 12.4% in 2007 to 15.1% in 2013–2014).

Impaired driving is something that law enforcement has been constantly battling. Since prohibition law enforcement has been cracking down on drunk driving. But, police also have the often difficult task of spotting and proving drug impaired driving.

Bob Stokes, Kentucky Safety Resource Prosecutor for the Office of the Attorney General, who is the coordinator of the regional training sessions, says that law enforcement being able to identify people driving under the influence of drugs is critical for everyone’s welfare.

“Either with prescription drugs and also illicit drugs, if you’re not used to taking them, they are going to cause significant problems and those problems are going to cause someone who drives to have a real issue and it’s not going to be safe for them, and it’s certainly not going to be safe for other people on the road,” Stokes said.

Commonwealth Attorney for Whitley and McCreary counties, Allen Trimble, says that for prosecutors, their world, relating to drug use, is constantly changing and requires
constant education.

“It’s a never changing environment,” Trimble said. “It changes from week to week, from month to month, and, as prosecutors, you just got to keep up with it.”

The training program is funded through the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety with grant funds provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Assistance for the training is provided by the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety and the Kentucky State Police.

Don Weber

Don Weber is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers politics and education on Pure Politics, Kentucky’s only nightly program dedicated to state politics. Don is a lifelong Kentuckian and a graduate of Northern Kentucky University. He spent many years covering sports in the Northern Kentucky area before shifting primarily to politics. You can watch Don’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. If you have a story idea you can reach Don at donald.weber@charter.com.

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