Drug Recognition Experts and Evaluations
The next step in a DWI drug investigation involves the officer administering a drug recognition evaluation. Most police officers in the State of New Jersey are not trained to do drug recognition evaluations. Drug recognition evaluations are not broadly accepted by the scientific community as being a proper method to determine if somebody is under the influence of a drug.
Drug Recognition Experts (DREs) Have Received Some Training and Must Adhere to the Proper Evaluation Protocol
However, in New Jersey, there are certain police officers called Drug Recognition Experts who have been trained to use a system of evaluation that must be followed step-by-step in order to come to a conclusion that the person is under the influence of one or more of the seven drug categories. It’s a 12-step evaluation process that must be followed. It must be followed according to the letter in order to reach a conclusion.
Again, the general scientific community doesn’t find this drug recognition evaluation to be a valid method for determining if somebody is under the influence of drugs. This drug recognition evaluation has been put together by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
These two organizations just decided one day they were going to put this 12-step process together and claim that it can give an officer the ability to determine if somebody is under the influence of a drug.
That officer doesn’t even need medical training in order to come to these conclusions. That officer doesn’t have to have any prior experience in giving this drug recognition evaluation to somebody who’s under the influence of each one of these seven drug categories.
In other words, the officer who’s administering this test didn’t necessarily get trained to use the drug recognition evaluation to determine if somebody is under the influence of cocaine or LSD. The drug recognition evaluator may have simply been trained in the field to determine if somebody is under the influence of marijuana or an anti-depressant.