When I first began defending DWI cases many years ago, 95% of my cases involved alcohol. Today, that number is more like 60%. Today, nearly 40% of my DWI cases involve allegations of driving under the influence of drugs, prescribed or otherwise. These allegations vary from being under the influence of a CDS, for instance, heroin or other opioid, to prescribed medications such as Ambien or Adderol. With this evolution came the States’ increased reliance on drug recognition evaluators, (DREs) often mistakenly referred to as drug recognition experts.
The DRE is a twelve step National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) standard curriculum that was designed to supposedly detect impaired drivers. I have not, and I will not, stipulate to any Court that these officers are “experts”. These officers are not sufficiently qualified to render these opinions, and I will challenge them every step of the way. My insights as a former municipal prosecutor allow me to understand precisely the States’ weaknesses in these matters, and I will help you challenge these allegations to avoid their prejudicial effect. I have undergone both DUI & DRE training and I am able to effectively argue those issues in court. We are ready to challenge DRE cases.
While the State has attempted to demonstrate the reliability of the DRE protocol, recent studies have indicated a high rate of false positives and rampant misidentification of impairing substances. I have consistently challenged DRE testimony and have raised questions about the officer’s ability to diagnose medical conditions, the accuracy and use of the drug matrix, the lack of peer review of DRE protocols, and the pervasive misinformation contained in the DRE manual.
If you have been arrested for Driving Under the Influence and the State intends to rely upon a DRE, you will need a qualified DWI defense attorney to help you. Call us today at (609) 294-8300 to learn more about DREs and to schedule a free consultation.