Defenses to DRE

Defenses to DRE in Illinois

Drug Recognition Expert (or Evaluation, depending on what state you are in), is the fastest growing trend in DUI enforcement.  With the DRE program officers are allowed to arrest and prosecutors can charge you with a DUI in Illinois even if you have not consumed any alcohol.  If the officer forms the opinion that you are impaired because of any substance – be it a legal or illegal drug, paint fumes, or anything else – and you were operating a motor vehicle, you can be charged with a DUI in Illinois.  This page will list some of the more common defenses to DRE in Illinois.

DRE Defenses

  • Challenging the officer’s interpretation of the medical data gathered during the DRE process;
  • Challenging the officer’s administration of the DRE protocol;
  • Challenging the collection of the urine or blood sample at the end of the DRE process;
  • Challenging the scientific reliability of the DRE protocol (it’s never been independently peer reviewed);
  • Showing the jurors evidence that the symptoms seen by the officer are your state of normal physical ability.  Example: Your muscles are naturally tensed or flaccid regardless of your consumption of medication;
  • Educating the jurors about the lack of specificity of the DRE exams;
  • Educating the jurors on proper medical procedure of evaluation of pupil size;
  • Educating the jurors on “Lack of Convergence”, and showing them how having lack of convergence is not a medically accepted use this examination;
  • Explain to the jurors the purpose of dark room examinations, and show them how the DRE’s use of them is not medically reliable;
  • Show the officer’s conclusions about the medicine’s which he says is causing your impairment was biased by his first asking you which medications you were taking;
  • Show any of the countless other medical, mental, and physical conditions that could be responsible for what the officer interpreted as impairment by drugs or alcohol.

As the DRE program continues to spread across Illinois, and across the nation, it is important for you to understand the severe limitations of the program.  DUI in Illinois should be based off more scientific evidence that physical examinations by officers who are not adequately trained to monitor, assess, then diagnose a medical condition based on those assessments.  Illinois DUI Attorney Brian Roberts is a highly skilled criminal defense attorney.  Contact him right now for a confidential case evaluation!


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