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Police See More People Driving High On Prescription Meds

Xanax, oxycodone, hand sanitizer, mouthwash, cough syrup -- a lot more drivers are driving under the influence of things other than alcohol and Sgt. Gary Larsen, of the Caledonia Police Department, said he'd like it to stop.

Caledonia Police Lt. Gary Larsen remembers all too well the drunk driving and over-medicated driving arrests he's made.

But, the one he recalls the quickest happened this spring -- Daniel J. Hess, 38, of Caledonia, is accused of homicide for his role in a fatal car crash. According to the criminal complaint filed in October, Hess told officers he took Percocet before driving. A blood test revealed he had Oxycodone, Hydromorphine and Methadone in his system at the time of the incident. Hess' case is still pending in court.

The total number of drunk and over-medicated drivers has increased slightly.

Last year, the department had 96 intoxicated driving arrests, and to date they've already had 100. Larsen said he would rather not have any, but, unfortunately, he said the number of people driving under the influence of prescription medications has increased.

Officers are also seeing more repeat offenders. Larsen once arrested a man for his eighth drunk driving ticket.

"At that point, how do you argue that you don't know what's going on?" Larsen said.

With the holiday season around the corner, he's hoping that people will heed his warning to not drink and drive, and to not drive under the influence of prescription medications.

Antonio November 21, 2012 at 12:21 AM
What they need to see is how fast they are driving on 5 mile.
Avenging Angel November 21, 2012 at 03:37 PM
While you're at it, stay off the phone as well.
Denise Lockwood November 21, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Yeah... what he said...

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