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DRE Checklist, Step 3: Preliminary Examination

By San Diego Attorney on April 30, 2012

A Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) must follow a checklist that breaks down into twelve components. The next few blogs will examine each step in detail.

Step 3: Preliminary Examination

This step begins with an extensive physical contact with the subject. The purpose of this contact is to look for any evidence of a medical compliance that would warrant terminating the evaluation and summoning medical assistance. The DRE will:

  • Ask for a series of questions;
  • Examine the eyes to determine if the pupils differ significantly in size;
  • Check for an estimation of the angle of onset of nystagmus.

This will allow the DRE to evaluate if the subject is under the influence of alcohol alone. The DRE will check the pulse and if necessary call for medical attention. This will terminate the evaluation, but otherwise the DRE will proceed with the evaluation.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI with drugs, call our offices today for a free consultation. Criminal Defense Attorney James N. Dicks specializes in DUI cases. As a member of The National College for DUI Defense and with over 25 years of legal experience, he can help you.

Source: A training manual for the Drug Evaluation and Classification Program

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A note from James N. Dicks:

Although COVID-19 has caused great uncertainty, we want to assure that our firm is operating remotely to accommodate all current, past, and future clients in need of any of our services. The best way to communicate with us is by telephone (760) 630-2000 or email info@jdlaw.law.

Currently San Diego Superior Courts are closed but are set to reopen on Tuesday May 26th, 2020 barring any
future orders.

Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. Sending our thoughts and best wishes to you and your family. Please follow us on Facebook for any future updates.


Aunque COVID-19 ha causado una gran incertidumbre, queremos asegurarles que nuestra oficina esta operando de forma remota para todos los clientes actuales, pasados y futuros que necesiten alguno de nuestros servicios. La mejor manera de comunicarse con nosotros es por teléfono (760) 630-2000 o por correo electrónico a info@jdlaw.law.

Los Tribunales Superiores de San Diego están cerrados, pero están programados para reabrir el martes 26 de mayo de 2020, salvo una nueva orden.

No dude en contactarnos si tiene alguna pregunta. Estamos enviando nuestros pensamientos y mejores deseos para usted y su familia. Síganos en Facebook para seguir siendo informado de novedades nuevas.


James N. Dicks
jD LAW, P.C.

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COVID-19 Announcement

Although COVID-19 has caused great uncertainty, we want to assure that our firm is operating remotely to accommodate all current, past, and future clients in need of any of our services. The best way to communicate with us is by telephone (760) 630-2000 or email info@jdlaw.law. Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. Sending our thoughts and best wishes to you and your family.


Aunque COVID-19 ha causado una gran incertidumbre, queremos asegurarles que nuestra oficina esta operando de forma remota para todos los clientes actuales, pasados y futuros que necesiten alguno de nuestros servicios. La mejor manera de comunicarse con nosotros es por teléfono (760) 630-2000 o por correo electrónico a info@jdlaw.law. No dude en contactarnos si tiene alguna pregunta. Estamos enviando nuestros pensamientos y mejores deseos para usted y su familia.

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