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Field Sobriety Tests Administered by a DRE

By San Diego Attorney on June 19, 2012

A Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) will use four divided attention psychophysical tests to evaluate someone suspected of drug impairment. These tests are standardized in their administration, documentation, and interpretation. This is very important because it means it has to given exactly the same way each time: same instructions, always recording the subject’s performance in a prescribed manner; and looking for a specific set of cues to determine to what extent the subjects are impaired.

The next few blogs will examine each test in detail. The four tests are listed in the proper sequence:

Both the Walk and Turn and the One leg Stand are scientifically validated which means that they were subjected to controlled research, in which hundreds of drinkers volunteered, and showed that a DRE could see the difference between sober and drunk drivers. The Romberg Balance and Finger to Nose tests have not been subjected to scientific validity. What this means is that any mistake the DRE makes in administering these tests can be used to create a defense. These tests are subjective in nature even though two have been scientifically validated, the tests are not the only thing taken into consideration to determine the sobriety of a subject.

When hiring Attorney James N. Dicks to handle your San Diego DUI charges, we give our clients each a DUI Intake Packet that we require them to fill out. Why? Because it’s a very specific questionnaire that asks about your medical history, any prescription drugs taken during the time of arrest, the conditions of the weather, and the amount of alcohol and food consumed prior to the arrest. This helps Attorney Dicks understand the circumstances surrounding the client’s arrest.

One of the most respected criminal defense attorneys in the North County area, James N. Dicks, has built a successful career by helping defend the rights of thousands of clients over the last 25 years. Call our offices today for a free consultation to learn more about your case and how he can help you.

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

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