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Are there field tests for drugged driving in Oklahoma?

Detecting the presence of drugs in a motor vehicle operator's system is a tricky area in law enforcement. While the United States DEA has a lot to say about drugged driving within the pages of its website, it has little to offer on the topic of testing methods. In fact, the DEA clearly declares, "there is no consistent method across states for identifying drug impairment." However, this does not mean impaired drivers will necessarily escape an arrest for driving while impaired.

As in other states, it is unlawful for anyone to operate a motor vehicle while impaired by any substance in Oklahoma. This includes drugs as well as alcohol. Because law enforcement does not yet have a reliable way to field test for the presence of drugs, many police officers undergo drug recognition training. A police officer certified as a Drug Recognition Expert can assess and evaluate the conditions of the stop to determine if the driver may be impaired. A certified DRE uses the following tactics to make a determination about the driver's condition:

-- Evaluating the motorist's coordination and ability to process information-- Measuring the motorist's vital signs-- Assessing the motorist's automatic reactions and responses-- Evaluating the behavior and appearance of the motorist

Police officers could have reasonable cause to make an arrest if the motorist fails any of the detection tactics listed above. Unlike blood alcohol tests, testing for drugs has a long way to go before becoming reliable. Despite this gray area, those facing drugged driving charges need help. The best way to build a solid case and defense against the charges is by working with a Norman, Oklahoma, DUI defense attorney.

Source: DEA.gov, "Get the Facts about Drugged Driving," accessed Sep. 08, 2015

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