10Oct 2017

"Drug Recognition Experts" Can Be Anything But

Officers in many states can earn a certificate that qualifies them as a "drug recognition expert." This designation is given by the International Association of the Chiefs of Police to officers who complete training in recognizing those who are under the influence of drugs. This designation has also led to the arrest and prosecution of many innocent people.

Perhaps the most obtuse case of errors in judgment related to this certificate would have to go to Georgia officer Tracy Carroll. He arrested many people because, to him, they showed "indicators" that they had been smoking marijuana. One conversation went as follows:

Officer Carrol: “I’m going to ask you a question, okay? When was the last time you smoked marijuana?”

Suspect: “Oh, I don’t do that. I can give you a drug test right now.”

Officer Carroll: “You don’t smoke marijuana?”

Suspect: “I do not, no.”

Officer Carroll: “Okay. Well, you’re showing me indicators that you have been smoking marijuana, okay?”

The suspect was later found not guilty and even had to go through a trial to get there despite the fact that all blood tests showed no intoxication from any substance at all. If you live in Burlington, Essex, Colchester, Winooski, Williston, Shelburne or anywhere in the State of Vermont, and have been arrested or charged with DUI or any crime, call Handy Law for aggressive and experienced legal defense.