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How do police officers detect drugged driving?

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2022 | DUI

Driving under the influence (DUI) is typically associated with alcohol consumption. However, a DUI charge can also occur if you get caught driving while incapacitated by drugs.

Although no roadside test unquestionably identifies drugged driving, some Georgia officers have undergone training to become drug recognition experts (DRE). They use a comprehensive process to determine if a motorist is driving while incapacitated by drugs.

Interview the arresting officer

The first thing a DRE does at a suspected drug-involved DUI is to review the breath test and speak with the arresting officer. The DRE asks the officer about the subject’s appearance, behavior and driving patterns. They will also take the first of three pulse readings from the motorist.

Perform intoxication tests

The DRE conducts standardized testing at this point. Examples of these tests include:

  • Horizontal nystagmus gaze
  • Walk and turn
  • One-legged stand
  • Finger to nose

After the tests, the DRE will take the driver’s temperature, blood pressure and a second pulse reading.

Pupillary light tests

The next step involves examining the motorist’s pupils under three different lighting conditions with a pupilometer. It helps the DRE officer determine if the driver’s pupils are consistent with drug intoxication.

Final testing methods

A DRE will typically perform a final round of testing methods to determine drug incapacity. These include:

  • Check for loose or rigid muscle tone
  • Check for drug injection marks or sites
  • Take a final pulse reading
  • Question the driver about their drug use

Once the tests are complete, the DRE evaluates the results to identify possible drug intoxication. The subject will undergo a blood test to confirm the DRE’s conclusion.

These drug testing measures are far from 100% accurate. Instead of accepting your perceived fate, consider learning more about the charges against you and your drug-related DUI defense options.

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