A Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) must follow a checklist that breaks down
into twelve components. The next few blogs will examine each step in detail.
Step 11: Opinions of the Evaluator
It is the DRE's job to render an opinion of the subject right now,
not to speculate about the condition at the time of arrest, unless the
DRE witnessed the arrest. If the subject is impaired, then the DRE will
create a written statement saying:
- "In my opinion, (subject's name) is under the influence of (category
or combination) and is unable to operate a vehicle safely…"
Their opinion will refer to
drug categories and not specific drugs, with the sole exception being alcohol.
When an officer takes a PASS on the street is reads the
Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) and thus the DRE can be certain that the subject is under the influence of
alcohol. What the DRE can't concretely know is if other drugs are present
in the subject's system, since they don't have access to a chemical
test to help them form their opinion.
For example, if the DRE finds a substance that looks like cocaine and the
subject admits to using cocaine, the expert will put it in the report,
but his opinion should not mention any specific drug. Instead, what he
should write is that the subject "…is under the influence
of a CNS Stimulant…"
If you or a loved one has been charged with a
DUI with drugs, call our offices today for a free consultation. Criminal DefenseAttorney
James N. Dicks specializes in
DUI cases. As a member of The National College for DUI Defense and with over
25 years of legal experience, he can help you.
Source: A training manual for the Drug Evaluation and Classification Program