BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF) – The Ohio State Highway Patrol is seeing more and more people driving under the influence of drugs.

They say some cases involve illegal drugs, others involve drugs that were prescribed by a doctor.

Last year alone, more than 3900 crashes in Ohio were caused by drugged driving. In Belmont County, they say there were 39 drug-related crashes last year, most at the intersection of I-470 and Rt. 7. They say with drunk drivers, troopers can smell the alcohol.

With drugged drivers, the signs are different. They look for pupil size, reactions to light and physical signs while reaching for their license or talking to the troopers.

“We see drugged driving at all hours of the day and night, not just in the evening,” said Sgt. Brian McFarland of the OSHP. “With drugged drivers, the effects can be much worse. Sometimes they can be very disoriented or confused.”

He said the patrol has DRE troopers—Drug Recognition Experts—who have specialized training. 

If you’re cited for drugged driving, the penalties are about the same as drunk driving. The fines range from $500 to $1,000.