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Florida Drug Recognition Experts DRE Video

DRE Florida Drug Recognition Experts
Florida Drug Recognition Experts DRE

Using Drug Recognition Experts (DRE), in Florida DUI cases and across the nation, law enforcement and prosecutors are trying to circumvent the ability of jurors and Judges to reach their own conclusions as to the impairment, if any, of criminal suspects.

We have obtained training manuals and reviewed the evidence used to support these “experts” and you may also conclude the ability of these witnesses to meet the stringent requirements for admissibility of “scientific” evidence is far from generally accepted within any communities other than law enforcement. Such witnesses should be stricken from Prosecutors’ witness lists. In five minutes you will know: What is the History and Origin of the DRE? What is done during Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) training? Who does the DRE training? What special skills are Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) taught that judges and jurors don’t already have? Does DRE “evidence” meet the standard for admissibility under Florida law and the Daubert standard?

What is the History and Origin of the Drug Recognition Expert (DRE}?

The Los Angeles Police Department developed this area of alleged expertise in the 1970’s. The federal law enforcement agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) soon jumped on the bandwagon. Strikingly, the “certification” is now issued by the cop’s own International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and not by a generally recognized educational or scientific institution.
Florida Drug Recognition DRE Experts
7 Days to a Better You (DRE)

What is done during DRE training?

A Seven (7) day school is supposed to cover a 706-page manual. The curriculum begins by citing the Frye standard for admissibility, a standard that was abandoned in Florida in 2013 (see discussion below: Does DRE “evidence” meet the standard for admissibility under Florida law and the Daubert standard ? ).
During the 7 day romp, cops are allegedly trained in the following areas: Eye examinations; Physiology; Vital signs; the Central Nervous System; Depressants; Stimulants; Physician’s Desk Reference; Dissociative Anesthetics; Narcotic Analgesics. That is only half of the allegedly scientific in-depth training.
Let’s visit the second half of this highly accelerated educational program:  Inhalants, Vital Signs, Cannabis; Signs and Symptoms; Drug combinations; Writing a resume (Curriculum Vitae); and wrap it up with a list of questions defense attorneys will ask when the newly minted expert tries to spew this garbage in court.
Seven days to a better you – In short, street cops become quasi-medical professionals in only one week.

Who does the Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) training?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).

What special skills are Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) taught that judges and jurors don’t already have?

None. Generally, witnesses are not allowed to opine on the guilt or innocence of the accused. When police try to use these “experts” they are attempting to tell the jury how to rule and why. Since the alleged expert issues a highly prejudicial opinion on an ultimate issue in the case, courts must allow only legally admissible evidence to reach jurors.

Does Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) “evidence” meet the standard for admissibility under Florida law and the Daubert standard? 

No. In July 2013,  Section 90.704, Florida Statutes, was amended to read: “Facts or data that are otherwise inadmissible may not be disclosed to the jury by the proponent of the opinion or inference unless the court determines that their probative value in assisting the jury to evaluate the expert’s opinion substantially outweighs their prejudicial effect.” Since, 2013, there is little guidance from courts and judges on the validity of this testimony.
Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.220 requires disclosure of “reports or statements of experts made in connection with the particular case, including results of physical or mental examinations and of scientific tests, experiments, or comparisons . . . .” The rules also discuss, “expert witnesses who have not provided a written report and a curriculum vitae or who are going to testify . . . .”  In 1996, the rules also contemplated, “experts who have filed a report and curriculum vitae and who will not offer opinions subject to the Frye test.” FRCP 3.220 at 151 Note ( July 1, 2014).
Florida Drug Recognition Experts DRE are only alleged experts who issue highly prejudicial opinions on ultimate issues in the case, courts must allow only legally admissible evidence to reach jurors under the 2013 amendments to Florida law and the ruling of the United States Supreme Court in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993), General Electric Co. v. Joiner, 522 U.S. 136 (1997), and Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael, 526 U.S. 137 (1999), and to no longer apply the standard in Frye v. United States, 293 F.2d 1013 (D.C. Cir 1923) . See generally, http://laws.flrules.org/2013/107 .

Standardized 12-Step Drug Recognition Experts Protocol

The 12-Step Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) Protocol is standardized because it is conducted the same way, by every drug recognition expert, for every suspect whenever possible. In the above video, the 12-Step Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) Protocol is not shown.
1. Breath Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Test administered to suspect
2. Interview with the Arresting Officer about BAC, the reason for stop & suspect’s behavior, appearance, and driving.
3. Preliminary Examination and First Pulse. DRE asks questions about health, recent food, alcohol, and drugs, including prescribed medications while DRE observes suspect’s attitude, coordination, speech, breath, and face. DRE examines pupils uses horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) and takes suspect’s pulse. If needed seek medical assistance immediately. Otherwise, the evaluation continues.
4. Eye Examination. behavior, appearance, and driving. DRE uses HGN, vertical gaze Nystagmus (VGN), and looks for a lack of convergence.
5. Divided Attention Psychophysical Tests. DRE administers the Modified Romberg Balance, the Walk and Turn, the One Leg Stand, and the Finger to Nose test.
6. Vital Signs and Second Pulse. DRE takes the subject’s blood pressure, temperature, and pulse.
7. Dark Room Examinations. DRE measures at pupil sizes under three different lighting conditions.
8. Examination of Muscle Tone. DRE examines the subject’s skeletal muscle tone (normal rigid, or flaccid).
9. Check for Injection Sites and Third Pulse. DRE looks for injection sites and takes suspect’s pulse.
10. Subject’s Statements and Other Observations. DRE reads Miranda, asks questions about drug use.
11. Analysis and Opinions of the Evaluator. DRE forms an opinion as the suspect is impaired. If DRE believes there is impairment, then the category of drugs will be indicated.
12. Toxicological Examination. DRE requests a urine, blood and/or saliva for toxicology lab analysis.
Sources: http://www.wsp.wa.gov/breathtest/dredocs.php 
cannabis, Drug DUI, dui, THC

Drug DUI and Cannabis in the Courts

Drug DUI, THC, Cannabis, DUI
Drug DUI and Cannabis

What are the effects of THC on the brain of a driver?

For both DUI attorneys and medical experts in the courts, this is a concept known as THC Kinetics and involves the concept of Hysteresis. Recently I attended a seminar that covered key issues, Questions and Answers on Drug DUI with Dr. Stefan Rose of University Medical & Forensic Consultants, Inc. We learned that during the time of smoking marijuana and during the intoxication period (if one occurs) the blood and brain THC concentrations are in disequilibrium with each other. This disequilibrium is called “counterclockwise hysteresis”. When the THC blood levels are high the intoxication is low. When the THC blood levels are low, the intoxication (if present) is high, but only for a short time (minutes to an hour or so). Therefore it is IMPOSSIBLE to predict any pharmacologic effect at any point in time based on a blood THC test result. Nevertheless, there are harsh sanctions / penalties for refusing to take a test, when asked.

What is the scientific basis for urine testing and prediction of impairment by a driver?

Urine THC Kinetics have been addressed by NHTSA where they studied Drugs and Human Performance. With respect to Interpretation of Urine Test Results: Detection of total THCmetabolites in urine,  primarily THC-COOH-glucuronide, only indicates prior THC exposure. Detection time is well past the window of intoxication and impairment.

What do controlled clinical studies tell us about DUI and drug impacts on THC Cannabis  impairment?

Published  excretion data from controlled clinical studies may provide a reference for  evaluating urine cannabinoid concentrations; however, these data are generally  reflective of occasional marijuana use rather than heavy, chronic marijuana  exposure. It can take as long as 4 hours for THC-COOH to appear in the urine at  concentrations sufficient to trigger an immunoassay (at 50ng/mL) following  smoking. Positive test results generally indicate use within 1-3 days; however, the detection  window could be significantly longer following heavy, chronic, use. Following  single doses of Marinol®, low levels of dronabinol (same as THC) metabolites have been detected for more than 5 weeks in urine. Low concentrations of THC have also been measured in over-the-counter hemp oil  products – consumption of these products may produce positive urine cannabinoid  test results.

What do we know about drug driving and THCKinetics?

1. When marijuana is smoked, THC is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream  from the alveoli in the lungs
2. The peak blood THC concentration occurs within minutes near or after the  end of smoking
3. The THC is distributed from the blood to the organs and tissues of the body
4. As the blood THC concentration is falling the brain THC concentration is  rising (hysteresis) therefore NO correlation of blood THCconcentration to  intoxication exists
5. The time to reach maximum THC concentrations in the various organs and  tissues is based on blood flow – peak THCconcentration is reached most quickly in the organs with the most blood flow
6. The organs with the highest blood flow are the brain, liver, kidneys and lungs
7. Skeletal muscle has low blood flow and fat tissue has very low blood flow
8. Fat accumulates THC slowly, and releases THCback into the bloodstream for days, weeks and months after the last dose of THC
9. Chronic marijuana users may have measurable residual THClevels in the blood for days and weeks after the last dose
10. A single blood THC result cannot determine when a person smoked marijuana or how much marijuana a person smoked!
11. A single blood THC result by itself cannot determine when and if a person was impaired by THC– clinical correlation is required !

Can a THC Result Can ever  Predict Impairment?

1. THCBlood : Serum ratio not known (if sample is serum)
2. THCkinetic curve unknown (THC at driving not known)
3. THChysteresis effect not known
4. Residual THC in blood not known
5. THCdrug-dose response not known
6. THCtolerance not known
7. CBDcontent and effect not known
8. Neurologic exam for THC effect not performed
9. Even NHTSA says it cannot be done!

How can a lawyer and an expert Challenge Blood Drug Results?

1. Challenge the chemical analysis for quantitative  and qualitative accuracy. The quantitative value ALWAYS has error and  uncertainty associated with it. Challenge the quantitative value through the ISO  17025 standard. Inspect ALLdocuments  from the Laboratory Litigation Package and  look for qualitative errors. A successful challenge to a driver’s license suspension can avoid a suspension.
2. Challenge the idea that a  single blood drug test predicts blood drug  concentration at the time of stop or crash. Blood drug concentrations are a moving target, and constantly changing. Therefore blood drug concentrations at the time of a stop or crash are unpredictable with a single blood drug test result • In fact the only way to know the blood drug concentration is to have a blood sample taken at the time of the stop or crash
3. Challenge the idea that even IF the blood drug concentration is known at  the time of the stop or crash, a blood  drug concentration can NEVER  predict the pharmacologic effect, or  impairment on any individual! Pharmacology studies are performed  on populations of people, and those  studies do not predict the pharmacologic effect on any  individual because of the wide range of response to any drug.  Modern medical pharmacology holds  that doctrine to be true and cannot be  changed for the sake of litigation. Counter-clockwise hysteresis of THC makes the prediction of impairment from a blood THC result IMPOSSIBLE.

What are important cross examination questions to ask in Drug DUI cases?

1. What type sample was analyzed? Whole blood, serum, plasma?
2. If serum/plasma, what was the whole blood: serum THCratio?
3. What sample type are you referring to regarding any study of  pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics?
4. Have you made the necessary correction in your calculations if the  sample type is different?
5. How do you know what the defendant blood: serum THCratio was?
6. What is the target organ that THC affects? (BRAIN)
7. What is the BRAIN THC concentration that causes impairment?
8. Was the BRAIN THC concentration measured?
9. A low blood THC concentration can mean a high or low brain  concentration, correct?
10. Blood THC concentration does not predict BRAIN THC, does it?
11. How do you know what the defendant’s BRAIN THCconcentration  was?
12. Even if you knew the BRAIN THC concentration you would not  know if that caused impairment, would you?
13. There is no published correlation between blood THC, BRAIN THC  and impairment, is there?
If you need a forensic consult on your case  please contact Dr. Stefan Rose directly by email at  toxdoc@umfc.com  or call  561-795-4452. Questions and Answers from  recent Class on Drug DUI with Dr. Stefan Rose. University Medical & Forensic Consultants, Inc. ©2015.

cannabis, drugs, dui, marijuana, oxycodone, oxycontin

DUI and Marijuana – Usually Tough to Prove – Caught on Video

DUI and Marijuana – Usually Tough to Prove
Caught on Video – Cops continue to arrest people even if the cases are thrown out?
Here it is straight from the DUI cops themselves: Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Morgan says:
“Marijuana or any narcotic of any type, whether it’s marijuana or, you’re not going to have the indicators that you would have with alcohol,” said Sgt. Morgan.
“We cannot quantify the marijuana and or any other narcotic and which does make it difficult,” said Sgt. Morgan. “There is not a line in the sand with marijuana or any type of narcotic,” said Sgt. Morgan.
“In a lot of cases, not every case, but a lot of cases, because we cannot quantify the level of impairment or that was the substance that caused the impairment at that particular time, the case may not be filed on, or it could be reduced,” said Sergeant Morgan. Channel Eight also reports that the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, “officers will do what they are trained to do, and take impaired drivers off the streets to keep everyone else safe.”

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Anonymous Tip, cannabis, dui, marijuana, trafficking

Marijuana Anonymous Tip Case at Supreme Court may Affect DUI Traffic Stops

A drug case (marijuana / cannabis) at the United States Supreme Court may impact defendants across the United States including Florida D U I defendants who have been stopped based on anonymous tips to 911 operators. The questions will be: 
Does the Fourth Amendment require an officer who receives an anonymous tip regarding a drunken or reckless driver to corroborate dangerous driving before stopping the vehicle?
Does the Fourth Amendment require an officer who receives an anonymous tip regarding a drunken or reckless driver to corroborate dangerous driving before stopping the vehicle?
Does an anonymous tip that a specific vehicle ran someone of the road provide reasonable suspicion to stop a vehicle, where the detaining officer was only advised to be on the lookout for a reckless driver, and the officer could not corroborate dangerous driving despite following the suspect vehicle for several miles?
Here is the story: On August 23,2008, a California Highway Patrol dispatcher working out of Mendocino County received a telephone call from a Humboldt County dispatcher, who described a pickup truck that had run someone off the roadway and was last seen five minutes before heading south on California’s Highway 1, approximately 3 miles south of the county border.  The Humboldt dispatcher said that the information had come from a 911 call, but provided no further information.
The cops stopped the defendant’s truck. “Officers searched the vehicle after detecting the smell of marijuana, and discovered four large, closed bags of marijuana in the bed.” This case provides the Court with the perfect opportunity to answer that important question and ensure that lower courts do not sanction further violations of the Fourth Amendment.
Florida case law may play a role: Florida v. J.L., 529 US. 266 (2000), involved an anonymous tip about a young Black male wearing a plaid shirt and standing at a particular bus stop who was also carrying a gun. The Court found that the tip did not have the “moderate ‘indicia of reliability”‘ required to provide reasonable suspicion for a Terry stop under the Fourth Amendment, in part because the lack of “predictive information” meant the officers could not test the informant’s knowledge or credibility. 529 U.S. at 268,271. “The reasonable suspicion here at issue requires that a tip be reliable in its assertion of illegality, not just in its tendency to identify a determinate person.” 529 U.S. at 272.
Navarette vs. California, No. 12-9490