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Drug Recognition Experts and DUI


Increasingly, law enforcement is focussing on driving under the influence of drugs, specifically medication, as a major problem. The district attorneys office has a unit of prosecutors briefed to deal specifically with driving under the influence of drugs cases in Orange County. There has also been an increase in the number of law enforcement officers trained as drug recognition experts or DRE's.

DUID cases are very different from DUI cases based solely on alcohol. In DUI cases, there is a limit of .08% BAC over which a person is legally presumed to be impaired. In DUI cases based on drugs, there is no per se limit. Impairment is a matter of subjective opinion. This is where DRE's come in. The suspect's objective symptoms of impairment become a matter of increased focus. Different drugs affect people in different ways. In addition, the same drug will affect one person very differently to the next. Tolerance is a big factor. People who have been taking the same prescribed medication for years will have an increased tolerance to the medication and display fewer symptoms of impairment even with larger doses. DUI defense attorneys dealing with these cases must be familiar with how to cross-examine a DRE in jury trial in order to undermine their expertise and expose their opinion's as based on subjective interpretations and incorrect assumptions.

If you are facing a prosecution for driving under the influence of drugs, it is no defense that you were taking the medication in accordance with a valid prescription. You will need expert representation from a DUI attorney experienced in cases involving drugs. Gold & Witham have many years of experience defending DUI cases based on drugs in Orange County and Los Angeles They can be reached for a free case evaluation at 562 938 7771.