From the Trib Total Media
In 2004, Pennsylvania changed its DUI laws to include the word “drug,” DUID, not just “controlled substances,” which traditionally covered only illegal drugs such as marijuana and cocaine.
And the number of DUID
arrests has increased ever since.
In Pennsylvania in 2012, there were 50,000 DUI arrests. About 15,000, or 30 percent, of those were DUIDs, according to the Office of Pennsylvania Courts.
“The new law opened the floodgates to successfully prosecute any person impaired on any drug ranging from gasoline, bug and tar remover to designers drugs, prescription drugs,” said George Geisler, director of law enforcement services with the Pennsylvania DUI Association, eastern office in Harrisburg.
“Now, the new war is DUID,” said Cathy Tress, law enforcement liaison with the association.
A drug recognition expert and a police officer, Geisler trains police officers across the commonwealth to recognize the classic signs and symptoms of drug-impaired drivers.
“We examine drivers' eyes, their perception of time and distance, and then blood, pulse, body pressure and other indicators,” he said.
Geisler said, “We are looking at a tremendous switch to prescription drug abuse, over-the-counter drug abuse and of course, the designer drugs
Pennsylvania adopted the drug recognition expert program in 2004, the 39th state in the nation to do so, Geisler said.