When the police pull someone over, they will be looking for signs of impairment. If a driver is impaired by alcohol, it is usually immediately apparent due to the odor of alcohol, but in the absence of an odor of alcohol, the police may suspect that an individual is under the influence of a drug. The police will go through the general field sobriety tests with that individual. These tests include standing on one leg and counting to 30, walking a straight line, and taking nine steps forward and nine steps back, heel-to-toe steps, turning around. Law enforcement will usually have the individual blow into a sensor machine that detects alcohol; if the machine doesn’t detect any alcohol, then police will need to move on to the field sobriety tests for drug impairment.
Are Standardized Field Sobriety Tests Administered Even If Police Suspect Impairment By Something Other Than Alcohol?
Most officers are only trained to conduct the field sobriety tests that are aimed to detect impairment by alcohol, but these tests will still be used if the police suspect impairment by drugs. If a person cannot walk a straight line, then it doesn’t really matter whether it’s because they are impaired by drugs or by alcohol; either way, it is evidence of impairment. There are some tests that are specifically designed to detect impairment by drugs, and some officers will take a suspect’s pulse, or ask them to tip their head backward, close their eyes, and estimate when 30 seconds have passed. They will usually conduct the Rhomberg test as well, which involves the officer making circles around the driver’s face and bringing their fingers to the suspect’s nose to see if their eyes cross.
How And When Do Police Test For The Presence Of Drugs In Someone’s System?
If the police feel that someone was driving under the influence of drugs, then they will typically ask them whether or not they will consent to a blood or urine test. In almost every case, it will be a blood test rather than a urine test. If the individual consents to a blood test, then they will be transported to a nearby hospital in order to have blood drawn. It takes approximately two to three months to receive the results of these drug tests from the State Crime Lab.
Do Police Test For Metabolites Or Active Compounds In A Marijuana-Related DUI Case?
A sample of blood will typically be tested for metabolites of marijuana, which indicate whether or not someone has recently had marijuana in their system, but does not indicate whether or not someone was under the influence of marijuana at the time that the blood was drawn.
What Is A Drug Recognition Expert? What Kind Of Training Do They Go Through?
Drug recognition experts (DREs) are police officers who have undergone extensive training and obtained an annual certification that is meant to denote an ability to detect whether or not someone is under the influence of a particular type of drug. Many officers portray themselves as drug recognition experts without having the official title or certification.
Can A Person Refuse A Blood Test? What Are The Potential Consequences?
An individual has the right to refuse a blood test, but there will be some consequences as a result of exercising that right. For example, their driver’s license could be suspended for up to one year and they would lose eligibility to obtain a limited driving permit during that time.
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