NEWARK – The Licking County Health Department’s (LCHD) Safe Communities Coalition reported eight crash fatalities in the county during the second quarter of 2019, April 1st to June 30th.
Of the eight fatalities in the second quarter, two of the crashes involved drivers under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and two involved motorcycles. During the same time frame in 2018, there were three fatalities. This is an increase of five fatalities in the county.
“Impaired driving, whether from drugs or alcohol, is an issue that continues to impact Licking County drivers. It’s illegal everywhere in America to drive under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, opioids, methamphetamines, or any potentially impairing drug. These include those prescribed or over the counter,” said Jon Kraus, Safe Communities Coordinator at LCHD.
In 2019, five out of the twelve total fatal crashes in Licking County involved motorists who were suspected or tested positive for being impaired by either alcohol or drugs. “The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states marijuana, alcohol, and other drugs impair motor skills, lane tracking, and cognitive functions. You simply can’t drive safely if you are impaired,” concluded Kraus.
The Safe Communities Coalition and local law enforcement will continue efforts to decrease fatalities by reminding everyone to Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over and If You Feel Different, You Drive Different. Although simple, these initiatives act as reminders for drivers to make smart decisions and know the effects of what you consume.