WHAT IS A DRUG RECOGNITION EVALUATION (DRE) TEST?

New Jersey law currently allows prosecutors several methods with which to prove a defendant was impaired by alcohol or drugs while driving (Driving Under the Influence). While Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is the most commonly used method to prove intoxication in New Jersey, it is not the only way for the state to obtain a Driving While Intoxicated conviction in Morris County, NJ. Officer testimony regarding a defendant's performance on a Field Sobriety Test, as well as observed general demeanor and behavior is sufficient legal evidence for a prosecutor to pursue and in some cases, obtain a DUI/DWI conviction. DUI convictions have serious consequences in New Jersey. 

In recent years, it has become much more common to use a Drug Recognition Evaluation test (DRE) to obtain a DUI/DWI conviction. A Drug Recognition Evaluation is a twelve-step test administered by a trained expert, developed by the Los Angeles Police Department in the 1970's. It is used to determine whether a driver is under the influence of drugs or certain prescription medications. It is important to note that you can be arrested for driving under the influence of prescription drugs such as Xanax or Vicodin (and others which affect the central nervous system).

What to Expect: Drug Recognition Evaluations Morris County NJ

DRE's are administered after a driver has been arrested under suspicion of driving under the influence, but has passed a standard breath test. That is to say, if the police believe you have been driving under the influence of drugs but do not have sufficient evidence (such as finding drugs or drug paraphernalia in the car) to convict you of a DUI .

A Drug Recognition Evaluation will usually begin by a DRE expert reviewing your BAC results first with the arresting officer, and then with you. As they speak with you, they will at the same time watch you for signs of intoxication and impairment. The DRE officer will then perform tests similar to a field sobriety test, checking eye movements, balance, reaction speed, blood pressure, etc. This also includes a determination of psycho-motor impairment using the Romberg Balance test, Walk and Turn, One Leg Stand, and, Finger to the Nose test. The DRE officer will check your vital signs as well as look into your mouth and nose for signs of recent drug use. They will also check your body for common injection sites, and examine your pulse, temperature, muscle tone, and blood pressure.

The Drug Recognition Evaluation expert will also extensively check your pupil, exposing your eye to three different lighting conditions while measuring contractions with a device known as a pupilometer.

The test will conclude with a final round of questioning, and then the DRE officer will share their opinion as to the intoxication of the accused. They will sometimes use this opinion to obtain blood and urine tests.

Parsippany NJ Lawyers Fight DRE DUI/DWI Charges

While DRE testimony has been used to obtain DUI convictions in the past, the results and the process fall into an extremely grey legal area. If you have been charged with a DUI/DWI, especially with DRE "evidence", it is highly recommended that you obtain legal counsel experienced in fighting for your rights in New Jersey.

At the Law Offices of Smith & Doran, we understand the stakes involved with your DUI/DWI charge, and we are ready to provide personal and effective legal representation. We know how to fight for your future while at the same time always maintaining an open line of communication. The lawyer you hire is the lawyer you get, every step of the way. Contact us online or by phone at 973-261-6254 today to schedule a cost-free consultation.

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The Law Offices of Smith & Doran, P.C.
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Morristown, NJ 07960

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