Drug Recognition Experts DREs for NJ DUI Charges
September 26, 2018
If you have been charged with driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs in New Jersey, the opinion of a drug recognition expert (DRE) will be very important to your lawyer in determining the strength of the prosecution’s case against you and the potential defenses that may be used to have your charges dismissed. When facing DUI charges in Union County, or anywhere else in New Jersey, it is important to know that drug recognition evaluations can be successfully challenged in court if you have an experienced lawyer representing you. For additional information about DREs in New Jersey DUI cases, read the useful information provided below. You can also get a free consultation anytime by calling our law office in Cranford at (908) 838-0150.
When is a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) Used in NJ?
A drug recognition expert (DRE) is an officer professionally trained to notice and analyze signs of drug and alcohol impairment. DREs use a standardized 12-step protocol, first developed in the 1970s by the Los Angeles Police Department, to determine if an individual is driving under the influence of a controlled substance or liquor.
If the officer who pulls you over believes you are driving under the influence of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or prescription drugs like Xanax, Percocet, or Oxycodone, the may call a DRE officer to conduct a drug recognition evaluation. When you are arrested and brought to the police station, you may be asked to submit to an extensive evaluation by a police officer trained as a DRE.
What is involved in a Drug Recognition Evaluation?
To complete their systematic process, a DRE will review your breath alcohol test, interview the arresting officer, take your pulse, examine your eyes, give you four psychological tests, take your vital signs and your pulse again, look at your pupil size in three different lighting conditions, look at your skeletal muscle tone, check you for needle marks and take your pulse a third time, give you your Miranda warnings and ask you additional questions, generate an opinion, and request toxicology results.
A DRE will use this 12-step protocol to link your drug use to your inability to drive. Specifically, the DRE will use these factors to determine if you were unable to drive like a sober person would in the same or similar circumstances due to your being under the influence of drugs. It is important to note, however, that a DRE report is one person’s analysis of your condition when charged with a DUI. In other words, the opinion of the drug recognition expert can be fought in court.
What if there is no DRE Report in my NJ DUI Case?
A DRE assessment is not necessary in order for the police to charge you with drug DUI in New Jersey or for the prosecution to prove its case against you. There are many factors that the prosecution can rely on, including the police officer’s testimony about your driving, your behavior in the time before and after your arrest, and other observable characteristics like your pupil size. Police may also test your blood or urine for the presence of drugs and the prosecutor can also submit a toxicology report as evidence. The best thing you can do to combat your DUI charges is enlist the most experienced lawyer to construct your defense.
Charged with DUI on Drugs in Union, NJ
You may or may not have a DRE report used against you in court, but the penalties you face for DUI in New Jersey are the same regardless. A knowledgeable and skilled attorney can use their background to successfully defend you against DUI charges. At Proetta & Oliver, we know this because we have been doing it for years. If you have been arrested for driving on drugs in Union County, contact our experienced DUI defense lawyers today at (908) 838-0150. We provide free case evaluations and a member of our team is available immediately to assist you.