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New Hampshire DUI: What are Drug Recognition Experts (DREs)?

A Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) is a police officer trained to recognize the signs of impairment caused by drugs other than alcohol, according to the U.S National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). While nearly all police officers are trained to recognize the signs that a driver might be driving while under the influence of alcohol (DUI), not all officers are trained to recognize the signs that a driver might be impaired by illegal or prescription drugs, nor which types of drugs might be involved. DREs receive this training.

DRE training is intended to teach officers how to identify possible drug-related impairment and put symptoms together to make an educated guess as to what types of drugs might be involved. While the NHTSA notes that laboratory testing is required to conclusively identify the presence and type of drugs in a driver’s system, DRE training groups symptoms into categories to allow officers to guess what general type of drugs – such as amphetamines or narcotics – a driver may have used. These guesses are often used as the basis for arrests, even if no conclusive laboratory tests had yet been performed.

New Hampshire law makes it illegal to drive while impaired by alcohol, drugs or both, and the penalties that come with a conviction can be stiff. If you’ve been charged with a DUI, the experienced NH DWI defense lawyers at Tenn And Tenn, P.A. can help you fight for the best possible outcome in your case. For a free and confidential telephone consultation, please call us today at (603) 624-3700.