Officers are trained to identify specific things that are believed to be associated with alcohol or drug use. Some of the indicators, as they call them, for drug use are the same as with alcohol, watery eyes, trouble speaking, being unsteady on your feet. Additionally, they are looking for speech that may be very fast or very slow, confusion, excessive sweating, or even green film on your tongue. However, most officers are not trained as Drug Recognition Experts or DRE, and if they suspect drug use, they are supposed to have you evaluated by a DRE. If that does not happen, they are just making guesses, and I will never let anyone guess my clients into a conviction.
Are Standardized Field Sobriety Tests Typically Required In Drug DUI Cases?
Yes, they will attempt to get you to do the standard field sobriety tests, these will help them build a case against you and give them more opportunity to look for their indicators. As with any DUI stop, you should never participate in field sobriety testing, you are not required to and do not let an officer intimidate you into thinking you must comply. Simply tell them you know your rights and you will NOT be taking any field sobriety tests.
How And When Do Police Test For The Presence Of Drugs In a Person’s System?
If an officer suspects a person has ingested any drugs they can ask you to submit to a blood test. This will work the same as a breath test for an alcohol DUI, you have to be tested within 2 hours of your arrest, and the test must be performed in a specific manner. Since the test is a blood test the rules about who, when and how it is conducted are very strenuous and knowledge of how those rules work is very important. It is also important to remember that you can refuse this test, but that refusal can be used against you in a criminal case.
Do Police Test For Metabolites Or Active Compounds If They Suspect Marijuana Use?
Oklahoma tests for metabolites. Metabolites are the by-product your body makes when it is breaking down the drug ingested. This means you could have taken the drug hours or sometimes days before and still test positive for the drug. Oklahoma law allows someone to be charged with DUI drugs if this test is positive. That means you could have no other indication of being intoxicated and still be charged with a crime!
What Is A Drug Recognition Expert (DRE)? What Training Do They Have?
A Drug Recognition Expert is an officer that has had an extra class on identifying signs of drug intoxication. These officers have to attend and pass a specific training to hold this title. And even though the title has the word expert in it, it certainly doesn’t make anyone an expert. As with any training, some officers are knowledgeable and some are not, which is why it is important to have someone on your side that understands what these officers are supposed to do and to recognize when they fail to do so.
Can A Person Refuse To Take A Drug Test? What Are The Consequences Associated With Refusal?
A person can refuse to take the State’s test just as they can in any other DUI. However, that refusal can be used against you in a criminal case and can affect your driver’s license. But any positive drug test can lead to a charge of DUI drugs, even if you had no other signs of intoxication.
In 2016 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that officers must obtain a warrant to administer a blood test. The Court said that the blood test is much more intrusive than a breath test and therefore requires a warrant. The warrant and test have to occur within the same 2 hour time frame that is allowed for a test to be held valid.
It is important to note that the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals does allow the use of a warrantless blood test in certain circumstances. If you are suspected of DUI, and there has been an accident involving death or great bodily injury, officers can obtain a blood test within 2 hours of your arrest and without a warrant.
How Reliable Are Blood Tests That Are Taken In A Drug DUI Case?
The main issues that come up with regard to blood tests are how the test was performed. Blood tests are very regulated and must be performed in a precise manner. Everything from the time frame, who can do the blood draw, how the blood is stored and delivered for testing has a specific rule. A good DUI defense attorney will know what is supposed to happen, be able to see when something went wrong and understand how to fight it in court.