Ohio Unveiling Efforts Targeting Drug Trafficking

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - New efforts to crack down on drug trafficking in Ohio include legislation targeting hidden compartments in vehicles and changes in how drivers can use the Highway Patrol hotline.

Gov. John Kasich was expected to announce the efforts Friday.

The patrol says authorities want to stop people from bringing illegal drugs into communities by vehicle.

State Sen. Jim Hughes, a Columbus Republican, introduced legislation this week to make it a felony if a hidden metal compartment for stashing drugs is found inside a vehicle.

Meanwhile, the patrol will encourage drivers to call its hotline not only when they need help or spot an impaired driver, but also to report drug activity. Existing highway signs instruct troubled travelers to dial 1-877-7-PATROL. That number is being replaced by a simpler one, (hash)677.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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