From 11Alive: “Drunk driving arrests are down sharply after decades of aggressive enforcement while drugged driving arrests are climbing. That’s why Georgia has more than 250 officers with special ‘Drug Recognition Expert’ training. But the 11Alive Investigators discovered those ‘experts’ sometimes put innocent people behind bars.”
11Alive investigated a Cobb County officer with “DRE” certification who has had several drug arrests dismissed due to lack of scientific evidence. DRE stands for Drug Recognition Expert (although apparently law enforcement is trying to back off and claim the E stands for Evaluator). Some 250 Georgia officers, including those who work in Gwinnett, hold DRE certifications.
Some people are really nervous when they interact with police. And some people use marijuana. Most people do not. A blood test is far more accurate than a trained and experienced police officer’s opinion, no matter how much training and experience that officer has. Every human makes mistakes; police are human and should admit mistakes when they occur. Holding them to 100% correct decisions every time is unrealistic. But it’s terrible the three people highlighted in this special report had to suffer arrests, hire attorneys and convince prosecutors to dismiss their charges. While I’m not surprised that complaints filed against this officer were resolved in the officer’s favor, these falsely-accused citizens can never be restored to their pre-arrest status.
Ben Franklin said: “That it is better 100 guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer, is a Maxim that has been long and generally approved.”