COLUMBUS, Ohio — With a continuing opioid epidemic, Ohio troopers say they are seeing an increase in drugged drivers.
They say that's putting every driver in danger, and now they're asking for the public's help in curtailing the problem.
Sergeant Reggie Streicher, with the Ohio State Highway Patrol, says the increase is alarming.
"The shift is basically been to a lot more opioid. Whether or not that's in the prescription form, being abused or actually heroin. We've just seen a huge increase," Streicher said.
In 2017 alone, troopers arrested more than 63,000 motorists for drugged driving, and expect that number to increase in 2018.
Now, troopers are asking for the public's help to get these buzzed drivers off the roads. Signs encouraging motorist to call #677 when they see drug activity are popping up all over the state.
"This is a hotline where if you see someone on the roadway swerving, not necessarily that they crashed yet, but you think, where's an officer when I need one, " Streicher says.
He says that's when drivers need to call, and not wait.
The number takes you to the Highway Patrol dispatcher and from there the dispatcher will help the caller with what they need.
"We don't want anyone to shy away from dialing 911. This isn't designed to replace that, " said Sgt. Streicher. "But #677 is designed to be almost like a community watch, but for the roadways."