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DRE Checklist, Step 6: Examination of Vital Signs

By Criminal Defense Attorney on May 9, 2012

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 6: Examination of Vital Signs

The DRE is required to make precise measurements of the subjects:

  • Pulse rate- The rate will be taken at three different times: once during the preliminary examination, a second time during the vital signs examination, and a final time during the injection site examination of the subject;
  • Blood pressure- The DRE will use a stethoscope and a sphygmomanometer;
  • Body temperature- The DRE will use an oral thermometer.

Examining the vital signs is important because this provides important clinical evidence of drug impairment. For example, depressants and the narcotic analgesics usually lower the pulse rate while hallucinogens, cannabis, and most inhalants usually cause the blood pressure to rise. CNS stimulants, PCP, and dissociative anesthetics usually elevate temperature, whereas narcotic analgesics cause the temperature to be lower than normal.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI with drugs, call our offices today for a free consultation. Criminal Defense Attorney 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

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