KHP hopes new device will curb drugged driving

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)-- Drugged driving is an epidemic on the rise, and the Kansas Highway Patrol is working to put it to an end.

KHP Technical Trooper Carlson Nuss says officers have trouble identifying drugged driving versus drunk driving.

"The challenges for us is recognizing when someone is impaired on something other than alcohol and then moving forward with that case," he said.

AAA hosted the "Drugged Driving Summit" in Topeka Monday, where topics including opiod use, marijuana, and prescription drugs' contribution to drugged driving.

KHP officers were also able to display their newly acquired DAX Evidence Recorder device during the event.

The device was purchased by AAA as a gift for KHP, records eye movements, and is known as the drug usage equivalent to an alcohol sobriety test.

With the DAX Evidence Recorder, the Kansas Highway Patrol hopes they can decrease drugged driving, and help save lives. Officers say the device is not only used to test sobriety, it can also be used for tangible evidence in court.

Jennifer Haugh of AAA says the device is less of a gift, and more of a necessity for the law enforcement agency.

"When you do testing for roadside, it may not always be the same for alcohol," she said."So you want to make sure that everybody on the road and keeping everyone safe, has all of the tools that they can to combat the problem."