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Annapolis DUI Drug Field Sobriety Tests

DUI drug field sobriety tests are similar to breathalyzer tests that officers use to detect an impairment, but are even more standardized and more systematic. They have to be done in the exact 12-step process. Everything from one through 12 must be done the same exact way wherein, in an alcohol-related offense, the officer may not have to do certain parts of the test if a person is clearly intoxicated initially.

If you have been charged with a crime in relation to an Annapolis DUI drug field sobriety test, it is important that you consult with an attorney immediately. A seasoned lawyer will be able to assist in lessening or reducing any potential penalties associated with your charge.

Role of a Drug Recognition Expert

The DRE, or drug recognition expert, must follow the mandatory 12 step process during an Annapolis DUI drug field sobriety test, and can never reach a conclusion just from one element. If the DRE does not perform all 12 steps exactly, they could possibly make an erroneous conclusion.

The DREs are taught to promote professionalism in their work. These are officers who have gone through a certification program. Even though they are not doctors, because they are being asked to do what would be the equivalent of medical work, their utmost professional side must be advanced at all times.

Testing Examples

For a traditional DUI, a person used to “follow the pen,” which is called an HGN test, and then walk, turn, and stand on one leg. A process for an Annapolis DUI drug field sobriety tests is different. It is distinctly different because of the 12-step DRE process in which a DRE will test the individual for alcohol in the breath, but then the interview with that initial officer is what prompts them to further evaluate what is going on.

If an individual’s breath comes back a zero, but they are still giving or showing signs of impairment, that DRE expert can come in and further the initial conversation with the individual. The DRE will then move on to a preliminary examination, which is where they will take the person’s pulse for the first time. This is something that will be repeated throughout the process.

Many of the standard tests, such as the eye examination, the traditional HGN, the vertical gaze nystagmus, the divided attention test, the walk and turn, the one-legged stand, and the finger to nose tests must be done accurately. These are more extensive tests, but must be used to evaluate the individual before the DRE could try to make a request for the individual in question to give blood, or if they want to execute a warrant to get the blood.

Examination Process

To further the examination process, a DRE will do an examination of the person’s eyes, as well as perform a divided attention test, which is a series of psychological exams. Then, an officer will do a check of vital signs again and take a second pulse.

The DRE will proceed to do a dark room examination, check for muscle tone, check for injection sites, and then take a third pulse. The other statements and other observations are taken into consideration along with the analysis, the opinions of the evaluator, and a toxicology examination, which is usually where they ask for blood or urine. Sometimes a saliva sample is taken. All of these steps must be followed exactly during an Annapolis drug DUI field sobriety test.

There is no exception here with regards to which the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration is in charge of the way drugs and alcohol are evaluated at the stops for individuals under the influence or intoxication. Those 12 steps are quite literal and all the pieces of those 12 steps are essential in terms of evaluating the person.