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What Does DRE Mean And Stand For?

The term “DRE” refers to a Drug Recognition Expert.  These are police officers who have undergone special training and who Parliament has deemed in the criminal code of Canada to be experts.  When they testify in court, generally speaking their evidence is held to be expert opinion evidence.  A drug recognition expert conducts physical examinations of accused persons detained or charged in regard to impaired driving by a drug at a police station.  The Drug in question can be either illegal drugs such as cocaine, heroin, ecstasy etc., or legal prescribed substances and medications such as clonazepam, methadone, baclofen, etc.  An accused person under these circumstances is subjected to numerous physical tests such as having their blood pressure taken, body temperature taken, walking in a straight line and other intrusive tests, similar if not far more intrusive than a physical at the doctor’s office.  A demand for bodily substances can also be made, such as a urine sample.  The DRE will examine the individual and make a determination whether s/he believes the accused is impaired by a certain classification of drugs.  His/her conclusions will be based on the findings and the results of the DRE evaluation.  Assuming a DRE comes to the conclusion that the accused is impaired, his/her findings will be brought into evidence in a criminal trial should they be challenged.  However, ultimately it is up to a Judge to decide if a person was legally impaired by a drug.    If you would like to schedule a free confidential consultation, contact Avi Baratz at 905-789-9007 or email at avi@baratzlaw.com. 

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