US Supreme Court Remands DRE Case to Special Master

On November 18, 2019, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued a ruling in the case of New Jersey v. Michael Olenowski. The ruling remands the matter to a Special Master to determine whether Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) evidence is generally accepted in the scientific community and therefore satisfies the standard to be admitted into evidence at trial under the New Jersey Rules of Evidence.

Defendant Michael Olenowski was convicted of Driving While Intoxicated under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50. At his trial, the State introduced evidence of the method police officers use to detected drug influence, known as DRE. The defendant argued that DRE evidence is scientifically insufficient to be held reliable and valid.

This case is of critical importance to those who face charges of drug DWI/DUI. If the Supreme Court finds that DREs are reliable, these cases will be much more difficult (but not impossible) to defend. However, if the Court holds that DREs are not automatically admissible at trial, then defendants can continue to fight these cases by attacking the validity of the DRE.

The Law Office of Jason T. Komninos will be following the case closely. Attorney Jason T. Komninos prides himself on always being up to date on the latest in DWI/DUI law. While other attorneys dabble in many different practice areas, Mr. Komninos dedicates his practice to defending clients charged with traffic and criminal violations.

If you have been charged with a DWI or DUI offense as a result of a DRE, do not assume that your only option is to plead guilty. It is critical to speak with a dedicated DWI/DUI attorney as soon as possible about your options.

Jason T. Komninos, Esq. offers free consultations and can be reached at 201-343-4622.