Ohio law enforcement train to be drug-recognition experts - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

Ohio law enforcement train to be drug-recognition experts

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

A new program training Ohio law enforcement officers to spot a drug-impaired driver is getting mixed reviews.

So far, 71 officers statewide are now certified as 'drug-recognition experts' (DRE). This program goes beyond sobriety tests to train officers to determine whether someone is impaired from drugs or a medical condition.

Those in favor of the program say the training can bolster cases against drug-impaired drivers, but on the flip side, opponents including criminal defense lawyers say the assessments aren't backed up by science.

This is something that's been established in other states for decades, but is new for the State of Ohio.

Impaired drivers are a concern all law enforcement have to worry about, but Sergeant Wes Stout is coordinating the training to quickly get more drug-recognition experts in Ohio.

"With the increase in drug use, and prescription abuse, I think it's needed now more than ever," said Sgt. Stout.

At just under three-years-old, Stout says the program is quickly growing. They went from 83 evaluations after stops in 2011, to 480 in 2012.

"DRE's are called when an officer has stopped an individual and suspects that individual is impaired," explained Sgt. Stout.

Stout says the assessment includes conducting an interview, taking vital signs, measuring pupil size and checking muscle tone. He says each DRE evaluation takes about 45 minutes to an hour.

"It's about providing more documentation, articulation, and observation to the courts so we can tie that impairment to a drug," said Sgt. Stout.

Those opposed to the program say this isn't legitimate.

"Each person reacts differently when they're under the influence of some type of drug, whether it's heroin, cocaine, marijuana," explained defense attorney Mike Allen.

Defense Attorney Mike Allen says law enforcement officers are well-trained, but he doesn't believe many judges will let these officers testify with this information in court.

"It's voodoo science. I don't care how much training you have. It's kind of difficult to accept that anyone would be able to detect the drug use, what type of drug, or at least what category of drug," said Allen.

Allen believes blood and urine tests are the answer because they're proven to detect drugs in the body.

"That's a system that works. It's scientifically recognized and accepted. This isn't," said Allen.

There are about 10 drug recognition experts in the Cincinnati area. Sgt. Stout says he hopes to have 100 total throughout the state of Ohio by the end of 2013.

The program has also been established in Kentucky and Indiana.

For more information, follow this link: http://www.decp.org/

Copyright 2013 WXIX. All rights reserved.

  • FOX19 HeadlinesMore>>

  • Sex abuse victims join hands, accept courage award at ESPYs

    Sex abuse victims join hands, accept courage award at ESPYs

    Wednesday, July 18 2018 11:20 PM EDT2018-07-19 03:20:36 GMT
    Thursday, July 19 2018 11:13 AM EDT2018-07-19 15:13:59 GMT
    (Photo by Phil McCarten/Invision/AP) Former gymnast Sarah Klein, former Michigan State softball player Tiffany Thomas Lopez and gymnast Aly Raisman, from left in front, and others who suffered sexual abuse accept the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage.(Photo by Phil McCarten/Invision/AP) Former gymnast Sarah Klein, former Michigan State softball player Tiffany Thomas Lopez and gymnast Aly Raisman, from left in front, and others who suffered sexual abuse accept the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage.

    The women who spoke out against the abuse by Larry Nassar stood together Wednesday night in a powerful and solemn closing to the show highlighting the past year's top athletes and moments in sports.

    Full Story >

    The women who spoke out against the abuse by Larry Nassar stood together Wednesday night in a powerful and solemn closing to the show highlighting the past year's top athletes and moments in sports.

    Full Story >
  • Kentucky's Paul shares Trump's skepticism of US intervention

    Kentucky's Paul shares Trump's skepticism of US intervention

    Thursday, July 19 2018 12:31 AM EDT2018-07-19 04:31:04 GMT
    Thursday, July 19 2018 11:12 AM EDT2018-07-19 15:12:57 GMT
    (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite). In this July 17, 2018, photo, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks during a television interview as he defends President Donald Trump and his Helsinki news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Capitol Hill in Was...(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite). In this July 17, 2018, photo, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks during a television interview as he defends President Donald Trump and his Helsinki news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Capitol Hill in Was...
    On issue of resisting US intervention abroad, Trump finds an ally in Kentucky's Rand Paul.Full Story >
    On issue of resisting US intervention abroad, Trump finds an ally in Kentucky's Rand Paul.Full Story >
  • FBI Director Wray says Russia continues to sow discord in US

    FBI Director Wray says Russia continues to sow discord in US

    Wednesday, July 18 2018 8:09 PM EDT2018-07-19 00:09:49 GMT
    Thursday, July 19 2018 11:12 AM EDT2018-07-19 15:12:54 GMT
    (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File). FILE - In this Sept. 28, 2017, file photo, FBI Director Chris Wray speaks at his installation ceremony at the FBI Building in Washington. Wray is dismissing Russia President Vladimir Putin’s denial of election meddling. ...(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File). FILE - In this Sept. 28, 2017, file photo, FBI Director Chris Wray speaks at his installation ceremony at the FBI Building in Washington. Wray is dismissing Russia President Vladimir Putin’s denial of election meddling. ...
    FBI Director Christopher Wray is dismissing Russia President Vladimir Putin's denial of election meddling.Full Story >
    FBI Director Christopher Wray is dismissing Russia President Vladimir Putin's denial of election meddling.Full Story >
Powered by Frankly