Kevin Yarborough, a Glynn County police officer, was arrested on Monday for DUI after being pulled over and allegedly having a BAC of .116.
Police officers do get arrested for DUI in Georgia - it's not unheard of. However, this arrest received even more coverage because Yarborough was named the Drug Recognition Expert of the Year by the Governor's Office of Highway Safety just last year.
Drug Recognition Experts in Georgia
A recent tactic used in cases involving DUI in Georgia or DUI Drugs in Georgia is the use of officers trained as "Drug Recognition Experts." Officers that are known as Drug Recognition Experts in Georgia are considered the highest standard of trained officer as far as DUI goes in Georgia. The idea behind DRE testing is that a police officer can be trained to determine whether a person is under the influence of drugs by having the suspect perform a series of physical tests; while at the same time being subjected to observations.
The DRE officer is reported as to being fully trained to report what he or she sees, and then analyze and diagnose that the person is under the influence of drugs.
The reality is that drug recognition experts also make snap judgments about whether or not an individual is under the influence of drugs. As a Georgia DUI Attorney, I must say that this is the latest in junk science. Statistically, DRE predictions are inaccurate. Unfortunately, once in court, prosecutors present these officers as experts in drug detection.
These police officers who have gained the title of Drug Recognition Experts actually receive about a total of two weeks of training. These classes are taught by other police officers. There is no medical training associated with being a DRE in Georgia.
Everyone should be reminded that doctors go through years of medical school, years of residency, and hundreds of hours of post-medical school training to learn how to detect drug usage and drug impairment. Even then, no doctor would speak in terms of diagnosing someone under the influence of drugs beyond a reasonable doubt.
The mere idea of a Drug Recognition Expert is ridiculous. Even worse, it makes arrests like the one in the story above even more ridiculous. Now this man is held up to even more of a standard because he is a so-called DRE.
If you or a loved one has been arrested in Georgia for a serious traffic violation such as DUI or another alcohol or drug-related offense, contact a Georgia DUI Lawyer today.