Drugged Driving: Dangers Obvious as Ever

Alcohol, drugs, and driving do not mix. It is a simple message from law enforcement becoming more urgent with deadly accidents in the Tri-State.

When the sun goes down and the lights come up, driving can be a little dangerous. Warrick County Sheriff Brett Kruse says that's no fault of the road. “It's the people that drive on it,” he says.

But are some roads more deadly than others, is the next question?

Answered quickly by Kruse, “Obviously.”

Look no further than in his own backyard, State Road 62 in Chandler, Ind. is the site of two fatal accidents in as many months with drivers under the influence.

Whitney Winstead was behind the wheel, allegedly with marijuana in her system. The car she was driving was hit head-on by a wrong-way, allegedly drunk driver, killing Skylar Robinson-Williamson. The case is well documented.

Winstead's first court appearance has not been set yet.

Back in October, law enforcement says Bridget Lafferty was driving drunk and high when she hit and killed Jesse Lechner on a moped. That case too, has made headlines.

Lafferty will be in court January 9.

Driving with marijuana and alcohol in the system is illegal, either way. It's the job of Warrick County Sheriff's Deputies to stop it, no matter.

“I don't know there's any difference,” Kruse says of marijuana versus alcohol, and the effect it has on drivers.

Some are now asking – did marijuana in Winstead's system play a role in the wrong-way crash? Simply put, Kruse says drugs effect different people differently, so it's hard to say.

The biggest problem deputies have is there's no easy way to spot drivers under the influence of marijuana like there is with alcohol, and there is no field test like a breathalyzer. “We have to go to the hospital for blood work,” Kruse says.

Without any real standards in the field, the only thing drivers can do is hope a lesson is learned.

Morgan Staser lives in Chandler and drives SR 62 almost every day. She says she's more cautious since the fatal accidents. “You don't know if someone is going to hit you and you're doing nothing wrong, and your life could be taken that fast.”

The solution is simple, Kruse says. No one drive intoxicated.

“If that happened, it would eliminate all of this problem.”


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