Drug Testing

Georgia PD: Our Drug Recognition Experts Are More Accurate Than Drug Tests

More than 250 officers in the state are trained to recognize the use of seven different drugs.

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dashcam

More than 250 police officers in Georgia have been trained as "drug recognition experts" (DREs), a type of training that is supposed to make it possible for cops to determine that someone is under the influence of drugs. As drunk driving arrests have dipped, 11 Alive in Atlanta reports, drugged driving arrests are up, but as an investigation by the television station shows, and common sense might dictate, such training is liable to rack up false positives.

11 Alive spoke to three victims of such false positives, all attributed to just one Cobb County officer, T.T. Carroll, who was given a silver medal last year for 90 DUI arrests.

Katelyn Ebner, a bartender, was pulled over on her way home from work and told Carroll she had not been drinking. After passing a number of tests to detect alcohol consumption, Carroll asked her the last time she smoked marijuana. Ebner explained that she had never smoked marijuana and could take a drug test if necessary.

Carroll told Ebner she was giving him "several, several indicators" that she's smoked marijuana.

"Okay, so when I do a drug test, I'll be free to go, correct?" Ebner asked Carroll. Seems reasonable enough.

Carroll answered: "You're going to jail, ma'am. Okay? I don't have a magical drug test that I can give you right now."

However, as the 11 Alive reporter, Brendan Keefe, noted to Ebner, "he just did the 'magical drug test' that resulted in your arrest."

Ebner filed an internal affairs complaint after passing a drug test, but said Cobb County investigators insisted "the test results come back wrong all the time." She said investigators told her a urine test would have come back positive. Ebner says she took a urine test, which came back negative, herself.

The Cobb County Police Department would not let 11 Alive speak to Carroll, but commanders defended him, standing behind the three arrests mentioned by the station (none of which resulted in charges), and re-iterating their belief that their drug recognition experts can be more accurate than physical tests.

Carroll was promoted last year, with his supervisors claiming in his evaluation most of his arrests ended in convictions or pleas (the lawyer for at least one of the victims 11 Alive spoke to recommended a plea deal despite their client insisting she hever smoked marijuana) and calling him their "go-to officer when it comes to DUI-drugs." According to 11 Alive, the evaluation did not mention the 3 arrests they reported on.

Read the whole story and watch the dash cam footage at 11 Alive, which is also seeking more Georgians with first-hand accounts of dealing with "drug recognition experts".

h/t Jerryskids

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  1. Georgia PD: Our Drug Recognition Experts Are More Accurate Than Drug Tests

    “We can sniff ’em drugs a mile away!”
    “Uh, sir… bss, bsss, bsss.”
    “Right. Figuratively speaking, of course!”

    1. I might have some drugs up my arse, why don’t you help yourself to a real big sniff?

      1. Did you miss the story where they dragged a guy into a hospital for repeated medical anal rapes because the cops were sure he had pot up his ass, hur hur hur?

  2. T.T. Carroll, who was given a silver medal last year for 90 DUI arrests.

    commanders defended him, standing behind the three arrests mentioned by the station (none of which resulted in charges), and re-iterating their belief that their drug recognition experts can be more accurate than physical tests.

    Carroll was promoted last year, with his supervisors claiming in his evaluation most of his arrests ended in convictions or pleas (the lawyer for at least one of the victims 11 Alive spoke to recommended a plea deal despite their client insisting she hever smoked marijuana) and calling him their “go-to officer when it comes to DUI-drugs.”

    Generating revenue for the county (and himself) results in a staunch defense and a promotion.

    1. Not sure about the revenue, no citations appear to have been written or cars seized.

      1. But see, when he throws innocent people in jail based on no evidence whatsoever, he creates demand all over the economy, stimulating the need for prison guards, prosecutors, bailiffs, and so forth, and then in turn for all of the services they need to do their jobs. Through this multiplier effect, ruining the lives of innocent people creates benefits that are enjoyed by every American, excepting of course the ones that have been locked in cages by corrupt cops. We should be celebrating his heroic and altruistic contributions to improving his community.

      2. There is almost certainly revenue gained from 90 DUI arrests, even from just the fines. He also probably earned a lot of overtime for those arrests as well.

  3. My bullshit detection system triggers all the time. when government bureaucrats speak. I wonder what that means.

  4. seven different drugs.

    roids?

    of course not.

  5. Officer Carroll: “Because of the totality of the circumstances”

  6. In his defense, the officer might know she used marijuana because he sold it to her.

    Obviously this will lead to murder prosecutions where a person seems like they could’ve done it, despite video evidence they were across town at the time, because. you know….people.

  7. “Constitutional protections? In Georgia? You must be high on something, son…”

    1. This is not just Georgia. This problem is a reality in almost every state. The courts allow this bullshit police ‘hunch’ standard for probable cause which of course produces many false positives.

      -Calibrated eyeballs for catching speeders instead of scientific methods of determining speed, like radar.
      -Calibrated nose for detecting alcohol impairment instead of using devices that measure ethanol in blood, like a blood test with warrant.
      -Calibrated brain for detecting amount of drugs and type in suspect instead of using scientific tests to determine type and quantity of drug.
      -Calibrated guns for sorting out suspects (who are not armed and shooting at police) who do not cooperate.

  8. If you study hard enough in drug recognition, can you become a Doctor DRE?

    1. What you did there? I saw it. 🙂

  9. If there is anything we learned from the Lisa Steed scandal, it’s that cops should not be rewarded for racking up DUI arrests.

    As soon as you do it, those attention-seekers are going to boost their ‘career’ on the backs of law-abiding citizens and destroy a few lives along the way exactly like that piece of shit trooper from Utah did.

  10. In their squad cars, they have rocks that keep away tigers.

  11. Because dogs who “alert” were so handy, why not try the same BS with humans?

    “You’re guilty because I said so”

    More than 250 officers in the state are trained to recognize the use of seven different drugs.

    I call #fakenews

    Is there actually any evidence that they can recognize drug use? That they can distinguish it from being tired? Or uppity?

    Any actual performance testing? False positive rates?

    I’m betting no, no, no, no, and no.

    1. Even if they “can” be more accurate than lab tests (whatever that means) doesn’t mean they won’t abuse their authority and lie if the incentive is there.

    2. A little secret about drug dogs, the handlers train them to “signal” even when there are no drugs.

      I have been stopped many times on ‘drug corridors’ for ‘speeding’. The cop asks to search and I say “do you have a warrant?” The cop calls the K-9. The K-9 ‘signals’ and they search the vehicle. The cops never find drugs or anything illegal. The cops let me go without a ticket for ‘speeding’. I send them a summons and civil action for violations of 42 USC 1983.

      Its a little game we play.

  12. How do they know they “can be” more accurate unless they have an objective way to measure, i,e. a TEST.

    1. Because… expert!

      Proof not required.

    2. Because they have an Official Certificate Of Completion for the Spotting Drug Users Class from the State Approved COP School.

  13. They can’t be true all the time.

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