Prosecutor: ‘Drugged’ driving related charges on the rise in Boone County

LEBANON, Ind. - As Indiana fights a growing drug epidemic, the Boone County Prosecutor's Office is charging more people each year for impaired driving due to drug use.

Just last week, a driver and passenger overdosed before crashing on I-865 in Boone County. Sheriff Mike Nielsen said the driver was unresponsive when medics arrived.

Prosecutor Kent Eastwood said the data shows a steep increase in "drugged" driving related charges in Boone County.

In 2015, 229 people were charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated. 47 were found to have a schedule I or II controlled substance in his or her system.

In 2016, 317 people were charged with operating a vehicle with intoxicated. 75 were found to have a controlled substance in his or her system.

In 2017, 429 people were charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated. 119 were found to have a controlled substance in his or her system.

So far this year, 73 people have been found to have a controlled substance in his or her system, according to Eastwood.

"Law enforcement agencies county wide have done a terrific job in their ability to detect, investigate and obtain evidence in this type of case," he said.

This is nothing new to Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services, or IEMS. Spokesperson Brian Van Bokkelen said they had to administer Narcan on 30 calls that were dispatched as an accident. One paramedic said she used Narcan on three drivers just last week and one of them had kids in the back seat.

"They are not able to focus on the road. They have lost control of their body at that point," said Van Bokkelen.

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