COLUMBUS, Ohio – A program training police officers to recognize whether drivers are drug-impaired is drawing praise from prosecutors and others, while criminal defense attorneys say such assessments aren’t scientifically accurate.
The Columbus Dispatch reports 71 police officers statewide have completed training as certified drug-recognition experts since 2010. The program goes beyond sobriety tests to train officers to determine whether someone is impaired from drugs or a medical condition.
A prosecutor on the task force studying the training before it came to Ohio says it can bolster cases against drug-impaired drivers.
The past president of the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers says the assessments aren’t backed up by science.
Assessments include conducting an interview, taking vital signs, measuring pupil size in a dark room and checking muscle tone.