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Driving under the influence of pills a real concern for Johnson Co. police

In addition to the copper thefts, pharmacy robberies, and shootings, another aspect of the prescription pill epidemic in eastern Kentucky is growing.

Johnson County Sheriff Dwayne Price says that 15 years ago, when he made a DUI arrest, it was almost always under the influence of alcohol. Not so anymore.

Now, a real majority of drivers stopped and arrested for DUI are under the influence of pills. Many aren't addicts, either--they have legitimate prescriptions, but believe that along with a doctor's approval comes carte blanche to ignore the side effects and get behind the wheel.

Police want you to know that's not the way it is. Any medication that can impair your senses, cognition, motor skills or reaction time is essentially the same as alcohol in the eyes of the law.

Between sheriff's deputies, the Paintsville Police, and Kentucky State troopers, authorities made roughly 300 DUI arrests in Johnson County in 2011.

Filed under: Johnson Co. | Prescription pill abuse


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