Kanawha Prosecutor cracking down on controlled substance DUIs - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Kanawha Prosecutor cracking down on controlled substance DUIs

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Drugged driving is a new point of emphasis in the Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney's office.

Prosecuting Attorney Mark Plants is asking all county law enforcement agencies to collect as much evidence as possible in drugged driving cases, including video of roadside sobriety testing and the collection of blood tests. Recent legislation allows police to administer a blood test on drivers who are lawfully arrested for a controlled substance DUI.

"Times have changed," Plants said. "Drugged driving is now just as common as drunk driving, and more difficult to prove. We must adapt our policies and procedures to keep up with the criminals and to protect our community."

Plants said controlled substance DUIs have become increasingly prevalent in Kanawha County and are more difficult to prosecute than an alcohol related DUI due to the additional evidence required to obtain a conviction.

"It's time that we specifically address drugged driving," he said. "As long as we have the evidence needed, we are prepared to take any and every controlled substance DUI to trial if that's what it takes to obtain a conviction."