Raleigh DWI Lawyer Skeptical About Credibility of Drug Recognition Experts (DRE)
Over the years, law
enforcement officials have intensified efforts to crack down on individuals
driving while impaired (DWI) by relying on Drug Recognition Experts
(DRE). Police officers
who become certified DREs evaluate drivers suspected of being impaired by drugs
by applying a 12-step process; aside from impairment, their skillset supposedly
lets them identify the type of drug as well.
The DRE program means well
and counties across North Carolina welcome these trained officers to boost road safety. However, recent incidents have called
its credibility into question.
Can Sometimes Stand for Drug Recognition Errors
A few prominent cases that
shed doubt on DREs occurred in Georgia, where investigative journalists
revealed that a DRE from Cobb County, police officer T.T. Carroll, had arrested at least three
drivers while they were sober.
At each arrest, Carroll
did not finish the 12-step process that would thoroughly assess a person’s
physiological state. (While an officer can make an arrest without fulfilling
all 12 steps, it is standard protocol for all 12 to be completed.) Dashcam
footage and transcripts also suggest a negligent attitude at the scene.
importantly, each individual arrested tested negative for illegal substances.
Clean toxicology screenings led to the cases against them being dismissed – but
not after they had to endure months’ worth of expenses and unwarranted jail
Carroll was awarded for
making 90 DUI (as it's called in Georgia) arrests in 2016. Katelyn Ebner, one
of the people he wrongfully arrested, said: “I’m not saying all those people he
arrested were innocent, but three of them were, and no one is doing anything
And that's a serious issue
for anyone caught by a zealous DRE officer.
a numbers game
What if the same injustice
happens while your cruising the streets of Raleigh? An experienced DWI lawyer should be on
your side from the moment of your arrest to ensure your rights are protected. A
good DWI lawyer might not only clear your name, but could help call attention
to a system and training program in need of improvement.
The problem with DREs is that
their training programs are managed by imperfect organizations, such as the International
Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) with support from the National Traffic
Safety Administration (NTSA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation. These
individuals often get their jobs wrong more than we’d like to think.
It is not beyond reason
that officers and departments looking for recognition and financial support put
inadequately trained officers in the field to bolster figures for arrest and
The DWI attorneys at Kurtz
& Blum believe that
no one should become a statistic for someone else’s success. If you ever need a
DWI lawyer to defend yourself against errant DREs, call us at 919-832-7700 and
we will do our best to get you the best possible outcome.
“The Drug Whisperer”:
Drivers arrested while stone cold sober, 11Alive.com
“Drugged Driving” and DWI
Drug Recognition Experts in North Carolina, LawFirms.com
JPD, OCSO staff drug recognition experts,