Many people immediately think alcohol as the leading cause of DUI. They would be right. When it comes to the second leading cause, many might think prescription drugs or even marijuana. They would be wrong.
Last year, methamphetamine outpaced marijuana as the second leading cause of DUI behind alcohol. It was the second most common drug found in DUI samples sent to the Montana crime lab.
According to the Montana Department of Justice’s Forensic Science Division, meth is also detected more often in other cases the agency handles.
For 2015, in 2,277 cases alcohol was the only detected substance. That was of 3,380 total tested DUI cases.
294 of those cases involved methamphetamine. That’s up from 73 samples that tested positive for meth in 2011. Of the 1,192 urinalysis cases handled in 2015, more than 550 turned up positive for meth. That’s nearly half. In 2011, there were less than 200.
Meth also increased in postmortem drug screens. The lab had 20 positive cases for meth in 2011. In 2015, that number increased to 73. In addition, positive tests for methamphetamine have increased among those on parole and probation.
The agency reports that no other drug has increased in that way. In fact, overall positive results for drugs had decreased.
Authorities say this indicates that methamphetamine has become easier to attain. There’s simply more of the drug around.
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