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Process of a Wicomico County DUI Drug Stop

In order to determine whether or not someone is under the influence of drugs, the officers will conduct a different type of investigation than they would have if they believed the person was under the influence of alcohol. Below a Wicomico County DUI lawyer details the various steps involved in a DUI drug stop. To learn more call and schedule a consultation today.

The Initial Stop

Typically, what takes place first is the driver is pulled over for some sort of traffic-related offense where the officer upon contact observes what they believe to be signs of impairment. This could mean a variety of things including:

  • Slurred speech
  • Bloodshot or glassy eyes
  • Bad coordination

Or if the person appears to be fumbling for documents or has other visible signs of impairment to their physical appearance.

Officer Asks Driver To Step Out of Car

If the police officer sees the preliminary signs of impairment the likely next step will be for the officer to ask the driver to get out of the car for further evaluation. The officer may observe that the driver is having trouble maintaining balance, or perhaps the driver is swaying from side to side. Those are all clues to the officer that the driver appears to be under the influence which leads to the next step.

Administration of Field Sobriety Tests and Preliminary Breath Test

In order to compile more evidence for an arrest the officer will likely first attempt to administer field sobriety tests. Among these tests are the walk and turn test, the horizontal nystramus test, and the one leg stand test. The officer may then use the preliminary breath test on the side of the road to try and determine if there’s alcohol in the driver’s system. If that preliminary breath test result is a .00, then the officer has to make a determination if the driver instead of being under the influence of alcohol is under the influence of some other form of a drug.

If they believe the driver to be under the influence of drugs, they will be taken in front of a drug recognition expert. In Wicomico County drug recognition experts are law enforcement officials who have had to attend separate training where they were taught the different classes of controlled dangerous substances, and the physical signs of someone being under the influence of these different schedules of substance. These officers are trained to perform a multi-step process, an examination of the driver in an attempt to determine what substance is impairing the driver.

Administration of a Blood Test

The last step of the process is taking a blood sample from the driver which will be analyzed to determine if there was a controlled substance within that person’s system at the time that they were driving the car.