Why Is DRE Testimony Used in Formulating a Drug-Related Charge Allowed in Court?
Interviewer: So far you’ve said that the DRE exam has no real certification and there is a lack of scientific validity. Yet, obviously, you’re going to tell me that testimony stands up quite nicely in court a lot of times. Where’s the linchpin? Does it lie in the method of questioning the officer is trained to administer?
Kevin: That’s right. This questioning process through the drug recognition evaluation takes approximately one hour. It’s always done after the arrest occurred. It’s usually done in a separate room by an officer who was not the arresting officer. It’s a pretty strange situation for a driver who was arrested. They are taken back to the station, breath tested, and then put under this lengthy examination process.
You May Refuse the DRE Evaluation; However, Many People Do Cooperate and Incriminate Themselves
Anybody can decline to participate in his evaluation. Unfortunately, a lot of people will just go along with the evaluation and provide many incriminating answers to questions being asked by the officer.
The officer will also engage in some basic medical evaluations. These evaluations include checking the person’s pupil size, pulse, blood pressure, muscle tone, and body temperature.
Many People Cooperate with the DRE Evaluation with the Hope of a Favorable Resolution in Return for Their Compliance
Why a person would let an officer stick a thermometer in his mouth under this situation is a little strange to me, but I’ve never been in this particular situation. I suppose that nervousness and the feeling that by cooperating, the situation will be resolved positively, in that person’s favor, dictates the course of action for the driver who has been arrested.
Interviewer: In fact, it does the opposite. It just gives you many chances to slip up and incriminate yourself, to build evidence against you, is that right?
Kevin: That’s right. In New Jersey, courts have not explicitly stated that the drug recognition evaluation is a scientifically accepted method of determining drug intoxication.
However, it is used routinely by the prosecution in trying to create this link between certain alleged observed behaviors and then symptoms of one of these seven drug categories.