The Drug Evaluation Process for Driving While Impaired in Utah

Utah Drug Recognition Evaluators (DRE)

The Drug Evaluation and Classification Programs trains law enforcement personnel how to detect and apprehend drug-impaired drivers in Utah.  In order to become a Drug Recognition Evaluator or DRE, the law enforcement personnel has to take 16 hours of drug recognition preschool, 56 hours of drug recognition expert school, and 40 hours of drug recognition expert field certification.

The Drug Evaluation Process in Utah

Once a Utah law enforcement personnel becomes a DRE, he will conduct a 12 step process to determine if a Utah driver is under the influence of drugs.  Those steps include:

  • A breath alcohol test.
  • Interview of the arresting officer.
  • Medical evaluation to determine if impairment is the result of a medical impairment.
  • Examination of the eyes, including a horizontal gaze nystagmus, vertical  gaze nystagmus, and lack of convergence.
  • Divided attention psychophysical tests including the Romberg Balance, Walk and Turn, One Leg Stand, and Finger to Nose tests.
  • Examination of vital signs including pulse rate, blood pressure, and body temperature.
  • Dark room examinations in which the DRE will estimate the suspect’s pupil size by using a pupilometer.
  • Examination of muscle tone of the arm.
  • Examination for injection sites.
  • Questioning the suspect.
  • Documenting observations and opinions.
  • Blood or urine test.

Categories of Drugs that DREs are Trained to Identify

DREs are trained to identify impairment from seven types of drug categories:

  • Depressants
  • Stimulants
  • Hallucinogens
  • PCP
  • Narcotic Analgesics
  • Inhalants
  • Cannabis

Protect Your Rights

If you ever have a run in with a DRE, make sure you protect your right to remain silent.  Any admission you make to a DRE can be used against you in a subsequent prosecution. Rule of thumb: NEVER TALK TO THE POLICE.

How Salcido Law Firm Can Help

If you have been cited with driving while impaired by drugs and were evaluated by a DRE, contact Salcido Law Firm.  We are criminal defense lawyers with extensive experience in the representing individual for DUI drugs and driving while impaired by drugs.

You can call our law firm anytime at 801.897.1787 to schedule a free consultation about your driving while impaired by drugs charges.

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