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SC ranks No. 2 for fatal drunken driving crashes. Now drugged driving is on the rise, study shows

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South Carolina is one of the deadliest states when it comes to alcohol-related crashes.

But drug use also is making the roads more dangerous for Palmetto State drivers, playing a role in an increasing number of fatal collisions, according to a recent study from alcohol.org. In fact, nearly half of all fatal crashes in South Carolina involve drunken or drugged drivers, according to experts cited in the report.



Among narcotics, cocaine is the biggest killer on South Carolina roads.

The alcohol.org study, which used National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data from 2007-16, showed that cocaine is the drug involved in the highest number of traffic fatalities in South Carolina.

The only other states that share that distinction are Florida and Illinois, wyff4.com reported.

That could be because traffic deaths involving cocaine have dropped on a national level. Those deaths have decreased by 34 percent, according to alcohol.org.

But cocaine isn't the only drug that is a problem on South Carolina roads.

Oxycodone use has caused a 300-percent increase in collisions, fentanyl-related wrecks have spiked 304 percent and methamphetamine use has been connected with a 1,300-percent rise in crashes since 2007, wyff4.com reported.

Fatal wrecks involving drugs occur most often on Sundays at 3 a.m., which corresponds with Saturday night bar closures, according to alcohol.org.

While drug-related collisions are rising in South Carolina, alcohol is still a massive problem and at the root of numerous traffic fatalities.

According to alcohol.org, South Carolina is second in the nation, behind Montana, in alcohol-involved fatal crashes.

Another study looked at the high rates of drinking and driving in South Carolina.

"Despite having less than half the population of its northern neighbor, South Carolina had just 23 fewer fatalities in 2016 as a result of drunken driving than North Carolina," according to a report from ValuePenguin, a consumer research group.

In 2016, there was a rate of 6.59 DUI deaths per 100,000 residents in South Carolina, according to ValuePenguin, which also used information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Rochelle Fischer is shares her story about the night she got busted for a DUI in Bellingham, hoping others will learn from her mistake.

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