DUI is not limited to alcohol. Increasingly, drivers are being arrested and prosecuted for driving under the influence of drugs, commonly prescription medications. Drivers taking therapeutic doses of prescription anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medication, or pain relievers are routinely arrested for impaired driving and subjected to invasive tests by so called "drug recognition experts." These are police officers who receive minimal training in drug detection. The officers perform a series of medical, eye, and coordination and balance tests and guess what of type of drug is allegedly impairing the driver. "Guess" is the proper term because studies done on these tests showed that the officers were right less than 50 percent of the time. In other words, flipping a coin would produce the same or better results. Yet courts typically allow these officers to refer to themselves as experts
DUI Lawyers throughout the country convened in San Antonio, Texas last week for intensive training on the Drug Recognition Evaluation Program and defending drivers accused of drugged driving. Among the presenters were medical doctor and ophthalmologist Dr. Joseph Citron, pharmacologist Dr. Fran Gengo, and former police officer and standardized field sobriety test instructor Dr. Lance Platt. The combined expertise of the instructors was unparalled. Any attorney doing drug dui cases without this training, from these instructers, is doing a serious disservice to his or client. Many attorney, and judges for that matter, are intimidated by these cases. Knowledge of the DRE testing protocol is critical for winning these cases.