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Ohio OVI Law: Impairment by Drugs

Dayton DUI Attorney Charles Rowland > DUI Law  > Drugs & Alcohol  > Ohio OVI Law: Impairment by Drugs

Ohio OVI Law: Impairment by Drugs

Ohio is making the transition to using the Drug Recognition Expert protocol in apprehending and prosecuting impaired drivers.   DRE refers not only to the officers themselves, but to the 12-step procedure that these officers use. DRE was developed by police officers from the Los Angeles (California) Police Department. In 1979, the Drug Recognition program received the official recognition of the LAPD.  On October 22, 2010, Ohio became the 48th state to be accepted into the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s (IACP) Drug Evaluation and Classification Program (DECP).

Once approved by the IACP’s DECP Highway Safety Committee, Ohio was eligible to provide the DRE training.  Ohio graduated their first DRE class in October, 2011.  “I am pleased this training is being offered to our law enforcement partners,” said Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS) Executive Director Karhlton Moore. “This will be an invaluable resource in our fight to curb impaired driving, as well as focus on emerging issues such as the prescription drug epidemic currently affecting so many communities across Ohio.” [Source]  In July, I spoke with Sgt. Wes Stought of the Ohio State Highway Patrol who oversees the Ohio DRE program at the Ohio Municipal Attorneys Association.  He states that the program is moving forward with a goal of full implementation in every county.

The DRE program is a traffic-safety program that focuses on the detection, apprehension and adjudication of drug-impaired drivers. A DRE is a police officer who is trained to recognize impairment in drivers under the influence of drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol. A DRE undergoes specialized training in detecting and identifying the category or categories of drugs causing the impairment. The process is based on observable signs and symptoms that are known to be reliable indicators of drug impairment.

12 Steps of the Drug Evaluation Process

  1. Breath Alcohol Test – A sample of breath is taken from the test subject to determine the concentration of alcohol, if any, in the test subject.
  2. Interview of Arresting Officer – The DRE consults with the investigator(s) to determine the circumstances leading up to the apprehension of the test subject.
  3. Preliminary Examination – Initial examination of the subject. Some questions are asked in relation to the subject’s medical/physical limitations.
  4. Eye Examination – Eyes are examined for pupils being equal, the ability of the eyes to track a stimulus equally, to monitor the smoothness of that tracking, to look for Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, as well as Vertical Gaze Nystagmus.
  5. Divided Attention Tests – One Leg Stand is done with both legs. Walk and Turn test is done. Modified Romberg Balance test. And Finger to Nose test is done.
  6. Examination of Vital Signs – Blood pressure, pulse and body temperature is taken.
  7. Dark Room Examinations – Examination of the pupil sizes in near total darkness, under direct light, and in normal room light. Examination of the oral and nasal cavities are done at the same time.
  8. Examination of Muscle Tone – Flexion and Extension of the muscles are tested, to see if there is flaccidity, or rigidity of the muscles.
  9. Examination of Injection Sites – Examination of common injection sites to determine if the subject is using injected substances.
  10. Suspects Statements / Other Observations – Soliciting information from the test subject which will corroborate signs and symptoms that the evaluator has observed.
  11. Opinion of the Evaluator – The DRE makes a determination of the class or classes of drugs that a subject is under the influence based on a matrix of symptomology that has been developed during studies of subjects under the influence of known classes of drugs.
  12. The Toxicological Examination – Blood, saliva or urine is obtained by demand, which is analyzed to determine what class of substances are present that corroborates the DRE’s opinion.

7 Drug Categories

  1. Central Nervous System Depressants
  2. Inhalants
  3. Dissociative Anesthetics
  4. Cannabis
  5. Central Nervous System Stimulants
  6. Hallucinogens
  7. Narcotic Analgesics

DUI attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver.  He regularly appears in courts in courts in FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboroHuber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville and throughout Ohio.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself the Miami Valley’s choice for DUI defense.  Contact Charles Rowland by phone at 937-318-1DUI (937-318-1384), 937-879-9542, or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263).  For after-hours help contact our 24/7 DUI HOTLINE at 937-776-2671.  For information about Dayton DUI sent directly to your mobile device, text DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Twitter @DaytonDUI or Get Twitter updates via SMS by texting DaytonDUI to40404. DaytonDUI is also available on Facebook and on the DaytonDUI channel on YouTube.  You can also email Charles Rowland at: CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or write to us at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324. “All I do is DUI Defense

Charles Rowland


Charles M. Rowland II has been representing the accused drunk driver for over 20 years. Contact him at (937) 318-1384 if you find yourself facing a DUI (now called OVI) charge.

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