On March 5, 2012, the Circuit Court for Carroll County, Maryland released its opinion in the case of State v. Brightful, et al., granting the defendants’ pre-trial motions to exclude the opinion of a drug recognition expert (DRE) in each of the consolidated cases. The case was litigated by defense attorneys Brian DeLeonardo and Alex Cruikshank. The court heard 10 days of expert testimony from both sides between September, 2010 and February, 2011. The State presented six expert witnesses: Dr. Karl Citek, Ms. Michelle Spirk, Mr. William Tower III, Officer William Morrison, Lt. Thomas Woodward and Dr. Zenon Zuk. The defendants called three experts: Dr. Francis Gengo, Dr. Neal Adams, and Dr. Jeffrey Janofsky. The court concluded that the DRE program is not generally accepted within the relevant scientific communities and that therefore would be excluded under the cases of Frye v. United States and the Maryland case of Reed v. State, as well as under Maryland Rule 702.
Specifically, the court said:
The DRE Protocol fails to produce an accurate and reliable determination of whether a suspect is impaired by drugs and. by what specific drug he is impaired. The DRE training police officers receive does not enable DREs to accurately observe the signs and symptoms of drug impairment, therefore, police officers are not able to reach accurate and reliable conclusions regarding what drug may be causing impairment.