The trend concerns state officials.
Twenty-eight Nebraskans have died this year in crashes in which one of the drivers had drugs in their system.
Nebraska Highway Safety Administrator Fred Zwonechek calls it a troubling trend.
“It’s one of the emerging issues we’re seeing, not only with illicit drugs, but also prescription medication,” Zwonechek tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN. “It sort of follows what we’re seeing nationally where the use of prescription medication is up significantly.”
Zwonechek says numerous factors could be in play, but the legalization of marijuana in Colorado almost certainly plays a role.
“Then you have the issues where the legalization of marijuana certainly, with Colorado here, likely is contributing to some of our problem here in Nebraska,” according to Zwonechek.
Nebraska recorded 22 deaths from DUI wrecks last year and previously average only about a dozen each year.
Jane Monnich, KLIN, contributed to this story.