Charles E. Tempio
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Attorney at Law

The DRE Protocol is a 12-part examination that drug recognition experts use to determine: 

  • If a suspect is impaired. 
  • If impairment is due to drugs or a medical condition. 
  • If impairment is due to drugs, which category of drugs. 

Step 1: Breath Alcohol Test 

  • To determine whether alcohol may be contributing to any observed impairment. 

Step 2: Interview of Arresting Officer 

Step 3: Preliminary Examination 

  • Systematically assessing the subject’s appearance, behavior, medical questions. Initial estimation of pupil size, tracking, and first pulse. 

Step 4: HGN, VGN, LOC 

Step 5: Divided Attention Tests 

  • Roberg Balance, Walk and Turn, One Leg Stand, Finger to Nose. 

Step 6: Vitals Signs 

  • Second pulse, blood pressure and body temperature. 

Step 7: Darkroom Examination 

  • DRE will measure the subject’s pupils and pupillary reaction to light. 

Step 8: Muscle Tone 

Step 9: Examination for injection sites 

Step 10: Interview/ Statements 

  • At this time the DRE will ask the subject questions regarding the drug category he believes is causing the impairment. 

Step 11: DRE’s Opinion 

Step 12: Toxicology

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