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DUI Drug Recognition Expert

Drug Recognition Expert Program

The Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) Program in Utah began in 1990. Utah now has more than 155 law enforcement officers who are certified as DRE experts working throughout the state for numerous local law enforcement agencies. Often considered “vodoo science,” these so-called experts are trained to administer certain agility exercises in order to form an opinion about whether the driver was impaired by drugs.

Salt Lake City DRE Evaluation Attorney

Given the potential for human error in judging the presence of drugs or alcohol in an individual, there is much criticism surrounding Utah’s Drug Recognition Expert Program. If you have been arrested for a criminal offense related to drugs or alcohol and were subject to a DRE evaluation, it’s imperative that you consider your legal options.

Call (801) 455-1743 to discuss your case with Salt Lake City defense attorney Darren M. Levitt. He will carefully review your situation, using any investigation or testing errors to your advantage. However, it’s best to call as soon after the initial arrest, DUI or otherwise, as possible. This helps your attorney gather important time-sensitive evidence, witness testimony, and other items that can be used to craft a solid defense strategy.

About the Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) Program

The Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) Program spread quickly throughout the nation because of the need to apprehend drug impaired drivers. Without this training, judges often excluded the officer’s testimony because of a lack of any scientific foundation for the opinion. The DRE Program was intended to give the officers that extra “scientific” training in hopes that their testimony about drug impairment would be admissible in court. To a large extent, the courts did begin to admit such testimony.

Utah’s Basic Requirements to Become DRE Certified

In order to become DRE certified, the law enforcement officer must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Complete two weeks classroom instruction;
  • Take a written examination and pass with a score of 80 percent or higher;
  • Complete 12 D.R.E. evaluations on drug impaired subjects; and
  • Pass a comprehensive final examination.

If the law enforcement officer completes these basic requirements then he or she is “certified” by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).

Utah’s DRE Evaluation – Testing for DUI Drug Impairment

The DRE evaluation involves a 12-step process. During the process the DRE certified officer conducts a series of preliminary interviews in an attempt to determine if the impairment is caused by a medical condition. The DRE certified law enforcement officer then does several tests, including field sobriety tests. He or she also performs a check of the person’s vital signs and examines the subject’s eyes.

DRE Resources

Utah Highway Patrol’s Drug Recognition Expert– Learn more about the basic requirements to become “certified” as a drug recognition expert from the Utah Highway Patrol website.

Levitt Legal, PLLC || DRE Evaluation Lawyer in Salt Lake City

If you were subjected to a 12 step DRE evaluation after a DUI arrest, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss your case and possible defenses. Call (801) 455-1743 to explore your legal options and available defense strategies with Darren M. Levitt during a free, initial consultation. Levitt Legal represents clients charged with misdemeanor or felony offenses in Salt Lake County, Summit County, Davis County, and the surrounding communities.

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