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Articles Tagged with FST’s

In State v. Baity, the Washington Supreme Court found the basis for HGN testing, that intoxicated people will exhibit nystagmus, to be generally accepted under Frye. Baity also addressed the admissibility of the 12-step DRE examination, of which HGN was one step, employed by police officers to detect behavior associated with certain drugs and held that it constituted novel scientific evidence. The Court also placed clear limitations on officer testimony based upon this scientific testing.

Michael Baity and Edward Arnestad were each charged in separate prosecutions for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI). Continue reading

For decades, Washington State law enforcement agencies have administered certain physical tests to individuals suspected of intoxication. Nowadays, almost everyone who has consumed alcohol, or driven a car is aware of the Standard Field Sobriety Test’s, otherwise known as FST’s. Perhaps the most widely and best known test being, Walk and Turn, Heel-Toe test. The real question is though just how reliable are standard field sobriety tests?

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In Washington State, Drug Recognition Experts, also known as DREs are regular law enforcement officer’s who have received additional training to recognize impaired drivers who are under the influence of drugs other than, or in addition to alcohol.

In the 1970’s the Los Angeles Police Department developed the Drug Evaluation and Classification Program (DECP). The purpose of the program was to train officers on how to determine whether a driver is under the influence of drugs, and then to determine the type of drug causing the impairment. Washington State adopted the program in 1996 and currently has approximately 230 active DREs. While individual agency policies can vary on when specifically a DRE will be called, they generally investigate major collisions and when officers suspect drug involvement.

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