Nationwide there are 7,000 drug recognition experts trained to identify drugged driving, a growing reality across the nation. Here in Michigan, 32 officers have just been trained to spot drugged driving. A few years ago, Michigan only had three officers trained to spot drugged driving. [i] That means you are 10 times more likely to be arrested for drugged driving in Michigan today than just three years ago!
The so-called drug recognition expert (DRE) uses a 12-step process to determine if a person is OWI (operating while intoxicated) due to drugs or medication. Three of them involve asking the driver if they have taken medications or drugs.
For example, step 2 of the 12 step drug evaluation and classification program is to “interview the arresting officer.” Here the DRE is looking for an admission or evidence of prescription bottles found on the driver or in his car. Step 3 then involves the DRE questing the driver, and here again the driver is asked if they are taking drugs or medications. In step 10, which is nicely called “interrogation of subject” the driver will be asked a third time if they have taken drugs or medications.
Every driver in Michigan has an absolute right to not answer these questions. If you are stopped and arrested NEVER admit to having consumed any medications. Taking prescription medications in the prescribed dose according to your doctor’s instructions IS NOT A DEFENSE to an OWI drugged driving charge.
If you don’t read this until after you’re arrested for OWI drugged driving in Michigan, or if you’re arrested anyhow, call the Barone Defense Firm for your FREE no obligation case evaluation.
Patrick T. Barone
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