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Gone are the days when law enforcement simply targeted drunk drivers. Drug-related OVIs are becoming a focus of today’s law enforcement. Chase Mallory and Dan Sabol attended the Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) course last week in Columbia, South Carolina with a small group of attorneys from across the country.
The program is designed to prepare officers to detect impairment from seven different categories of drugs: CNS Depressants, CNS Stimulants, Hallucinogens, Dissociative Anesthetics, Narcotic Analgesics, Inhalants, and Cannabis. The ARIDE manual prescribes two tests in addition to the alcohol related SFSTs: Lack of Convergence Test and Romberg Test.
First, officers are trained to check for Lack of Convergence (LOC) of the eyes. This is simply a test to determine whether your eyes cross. Depressants, Dissociative Anesthetics, Inhalants, and Cannabis all can cause the eyes to fail to converge.
The next test the manual prescribes is the Romberg Test. This test requires a suspect to tilt their head back and close their eyes while. The suspect is instructed to tilt their head forward and open their eyes and tell the officer “stop” when the suspect believes 30 seconds have elapsed. Anywhere between 25-35 seconds is considered acceptable. Any longer and the manual instructs that it may be a clue of depressants, hallucinogens, dissociative anesthetics, narcotic analgesics, inhalants, and/or cannabis. Any shorter and it may be considered a sign of stimulants, hallucinogens, and/or inhalants.
ARIDE also includes intensive training on the physical traits exhibited by drug impaired individuals. The ARIDE Drug Class Matrix prepares an officer to identify which drug or combination of drugs the individual may have ingested. Drug combinations can have a null effect, an overlapping effect, an additive effect, or an antagonistic effect. Officers are being taught to rely on their matrix training to determine which drug combinations the person may have ingested in order to determine if a drug recognition evaluation (post arrest) is necessary.
If you have been charged with an drug-related OVI or an alcohol-related OVI, remember that you can rely on our experience criminal attorneys who have this very specific and up-to-date training.