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In Georgia, if a cop thinks you smoke weed, you will get a DUI

Police dashcam footage of the DUI arrest of sober driver in Cobb County (Photo Source: Cobb County Police)

Police dashcam footage of the DUI arrest of sober driver in Cobb County (Photo Source: Cobb County Police)

The state of Georgia now uses at least 250 law enforcement officers designated as Drug Recognition Experts (DRE). Getting this type of designation entails the officer goes through a one-month training process. At the end of the training, the officer is certified to tell by observation alone if a driver is under the influence of a drug and also the type of suspected drug. There are seven categories of drugs that the officer is able to identify under DRE evaluation. These categories are:

  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Hallucinogens
  • Dissociative Anesthetics
  • Narcotic Analgesics
  • Inhalants
  • Cannabis

But in a number of traffic stops, sober drivers are being pulled over for minor traffic violations that have resulted in arrests for suspected DUI. One Cobb County police officer stands out with DUI arrests, Officer T.T. Carroll. He is part of the Cobb County DUI Task Force, which has a reputation for aggressive enforcement of DUI infractions. But in at least three cases, Carroll made DUI drug arrests in which the drivers were accused of being under the influence of cannabis. Even though there was no smell of cannabis no drugs found and the drivers denied they even used the drug, Ofc. Caroll, because of his DRE training, determined that cannabis use was indicated based solely on visual observation. It was later determined that Ofc. Carroll failed to do the full DRE evaluation after the arrest, ignoring the standing protocol. Follow-up procedures include recording pulse rates, eye dilation and muscle tone are among the 12 steps.

Drivers found themselves handcuffed and booked into the Cobb County jail facing a multitude of charges related to their arrest. This affected the person’s work life, family life and gave them a possible criminal record based on Carol’s visual observation. However, when blood and urine toxicology reports came back for those arrested it turned out there was no cannabis or other illegal drugs in their system. One woman was even pressured by her lawyer to take a plea deal, which she refused because she insisted that she was innocent of all charges. In those three cases, the Cobb County prosecuting attorneys decided to drop all charges. However, that does little to alleviate the damage that was done to these people’s lives. Ofc. Carroll has been credited with 60 DUI arrests in 2016 alone and was recently promoted.


26 Comments

  1. SrAgri on May 8, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    Good article, Mo. This truly is an outrageous miscarriage of justice.

    Visual observation could be grounds to request testing, but piling charges on a person because an officer thinks they might have smoked weed is insane and unconstitutional.

  2. Oak510finest on May 8, 2017 at 8:06 pm

    @SrAgri it’s obvious you are a marijuana user from the passion in your post. You show more passion over a marijuana law, than for kids being unjustly murdered by cops. But, then again you white supremacist really aren’t the most sane or logical people on the planet.

    • Gg on May 8, 2017 at 9:49 pm

      You are a lunatic

      • Oak510finest on May 8, 2017 at 10:16 pm

        Darn it! Another colorless orangutans on the loose. I need to find out what city keeps allowing you mutts to break the, ” roaming animal ordinance”. This is absolutely unacceptable!??

        • Puff Hammer on May 9, 2017 at 12:16 pm

          So like… Do you just comment on stuff to stir up racial conflict? You don’t seem to be too intelligent seeing as the only think you can talk about is white supremacists and monkeys. But good luck out there, dude! ??

          • Oak510finest on May 9, 2017 at 12:20 pm

            Typical chimp babble from another albino baboon running loose. Does anyone know how to lock cages these days geesh!!



          • Puff Hammer on May 9, 2017 at 12:25 pm

            Catch me if you can bby ?



          • Oak510finest on May 9, 2017 at 12:29 pm

            Yeah siree buddy, the hounds are already on your pickle scent. Don’t worry they are trained not to bite, for fear of getting orangutans rabies! ???



    • Mike on May 11, 2017 at 6:48 pm

      What is wrong with you?

      • Oak510finest on May 11, 2017 at 6:58 pm

        What a surprise another white male crying! What are you whining about now? Did you run out of hillbilly candy(meth)?

        • Steve Donovan on May 12, 2017 at 2:35 pm

          racist much? I would love to bring you back with me to Africa. I;m leaving again in 2 weeks..

          • Oak510finest on May 12, 2017 at 7:05 pm

            @Steve Donovan Your pathology as a people will never progress. You… just as most racist and white supremacist, always view someone’s response to racism and systematic white supremacy as wrong!!

            That is a sociopath in it’s purest form. I can do what I want to you and you better not complain.

            You conviently call me racist, knowing there is no such thing. In reality you are speaking in code, saying you have no right to speak out against my treatment of you.

            Whites are incapable of acknowledging their savagery against people, ever since coming out of the caves of Europe.

            I guess we can’t expect you to have any human empathy or emotional. When it’s already been proven by even white scientist that you are not!!



          • Steve Donovan on May 12, 2017 at 7:13 pm

            Wow you need help!!



          • Oak510finest on May 12, 2017 at 7:25 pm

            Thanks!! You just proved my point!! Whites pathology believes you are wrong morally and mentally for speaking out against their savagery.

            Never once do your people acknowledge the savagery you have bestowed upon the world and specifically black people.

            You will justify your behavior by saying, “all people are evil”. Or you will give some weird made up example of how bad it is in another foreign country. Even though we are talking about systematic white supremacy in America.

            So you can save the suggestions of someone seeking psychological help for a group of people who really needs it!



  3. Gg on May 8, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    How do we express our feelings about this matter. This happened to me in California.

    • Oak510finest on May 8, 2017 at 11:57 pm

      Stop breaking the law is one suggestion. Stop using drugs is the second.

      • JohnnyTapia on May 16, 2017 at 4:52 pm

        No, reading what you are commenting on is first. Then leaving a comment is second. None of the people arrested were found to have drugs in their system after a blood test. Then the cases were dropped. But the people were still arrested, vehicles impounded, had to get lawyers, and encouraged to take plea deals even though they never did drugs in the first place.

  4. Jason on May 9, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    Can we get a lawsuit against this race soldier posing as a police officer? Can we ensure the payment from winning the lawsuit is paid out of the police officer’s retirement fund? You expect many in law enforcement to be skilled enough to judge a person’s sobriety just by looking at them when they can barely perform their base duties with honor while on patrol? Only in AmeriKKKa.

  5. drmike722 on May 10, 2017 at 6:36 am

    What is needed is actual impairment testing, not drug testing, and not just a police officer’s opinion. I have developed an app called DRUID (an acronym for “DRiving Under the Influence of Drugs”), now in the App Store for the iPad and iPhone (Android version coming soon). DRUID measures reaction time, hand-eye coordination, balance, time estimation, and decision making and integrates all the measures into an overall impairment score. DRUID demonstrates that measuring marijuana impairment is available now. The app also permits individuals to assess their own level of impairment (or that of the designated driver) and determine whether they are impaired. See more at http://www.druidapp.com

    DRUID was recently featured on All Things Considered: http://www.npr.org/2017/01/25/511595978/can-sobriety-tests-weed-out-drivers-whove-smoked-too-much-weed

    and on television: http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2017/02/28/science-lags-behind-marijuana-impairment-testing/

    and in an interview with the Oregon Cannabis Connection:
    http://www.occnewspaper.com/druid-a-smart-phone-app-to-determine-duii/

    After getting my Ph.D. at Harvard, I have been a professor in the Psychology Department at UMass/Boston for 40 years, with a specialty in research methods, measurement and statistics.

    Michael Milburn, Professor
    Psychology Department
    UMass/Boston

    • SrAgri on May 10, 2017 at 10:07 am

      Great idea, but you are kind of shilling your app…

  6. Jason on May 15, 2017 at 9:35 am

    Thanks Republican voters.

  7. Matt McLaughlin on May 15, 2017 at 11:13 pm

    All blood draws need a warrant now.

  8. Aaron Tapia on May 16, 2017 at 3:04 am

    Some of you here have some perspectives that defy logical reasoning. SRAgri brought up an excellent point. The fact that charges can made against you upon a visual inspection alone is wrong and most likely unconstitutional. As he said, visual observation could be grounds for testing, which I can understand and agree with. However, I do believe more thorough tests need to be developed to see if your actually under the influence. If you smoked a week ago and are sober, but test positive, should you be held accountable and receive a dui due to the fact that thc metabolites or whatever the case may be that are in your system? As far as racism, that can be stretched in so many subject fields, but when do we stop pointing fingers and get down to the truth. For those that were exonerated, the justice system should provide full compensation and contact their employer if it led to the person being fired or let go because their lives were impacted based upon, a “visual observation”. No one should find themselves being harassed, embarrassed, or facing litigation due to the flaws of the legal system but unfortunately it exists and it should be fixed. There needs to be more oversight. If an officer suspects someone is high, it should be video recorded as well as audio. Furthermore, definitely have more than one officer that agrees the person is under the influence etc. I believe a person is innocent until proven guilty.

  9. jason42175 on May 19, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    Cop thinks you smoke weed, you will get a DUI?
    This has Racial profiling all over it, I’m 100% sure they won’t be doing this in the suburbs, were most of the marijuana is smoke in that state.

  10. James on July 3, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    What happened to being innocent until proven guilty? This really give officers way too much power and the way I look at it if you don’t find nothing then let them go. I guess human rights is a thing of the past.

  11. Mothra on August 24, 2017 at 9:57 am

    He’s a high school graduate who’s viewed some videos and Powerpoint slide presentations and so now he’s a drug recognition “expert”.