Vt. defense attorneys question use of drug recognition experts

Published: Sep. 17, 2018 at 11:35 AM EDT
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Multiple defense attorneys are questioning Vermont's use of drug recognition experts who test people suspected to be under the influence of a substance other than alcohol.

The Valley News reports attorneys including Norwich-based George Ostler and St. Johnsbury-based David Sleigh argue the tests are not scientifically reliable.

Police call drug recognition experts to conduct a series of evaluations at a police station after a traffic stop. Their tests include a pulse reading, eye examination, muscle examination and psychological test.

Vermont State Police Lt. John Flannigan says the testing method is endorsed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and it's recognized by the science community.

Vermont currently has 50 drug recognition experts and will have nine more when officers finish their training at the end of the month.

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