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PLATTE CITY, Mo. — Platte County prosecutors say a dramatic increase in criminal cases in the county is due to an increase in population, but also because of a larger number of people driving high.

Prosecutors say criminal cases are up 20% this year.

First Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Mark Gibson presented the statistics to county commissioners during a meeting Monday.

“Platte County is the fastest-growing county in Missouri,”  Gibson said.  “That means many good things, but it also means more crime.”

The prosecutor’s office says one reason for the dramatic increase in cases is that DWI cases have nearly doubled between 2019 and 2022.

Part of that increase is due to a growing number of cases involving drivers high on marijuana, according to Gibson’s presentation.

The prosecutor’s office says it expects the number of marijuana-impaired driving cases will continue to increase when adult-use marijuana becomes legal.

According to an analysis by the U.S. Department of Transportation, drug use among fatally injured drivers who were tested for drugs rose from 25% in 2007 to 42% in 2016, and marijuana presence doubled in this time frame.

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