Drug Crimes

In The News

Monday, March 12, 2012


By Michael Nichols
Categories: Drug Crimes

The media machine of the Michigan State Police is publicizing its latest assault on civil liberties: drug recognition training. Troopers are receiving training as drug recognition evaluators or DREs. "A Maryland court struck down the DRE protocol as junk science. We should have our judges take a long hard look at this as well," says Michigan OWI attorney Mike Nichols of East Lansing.

Nichols organized training for lawyers on the DRE protocol in April. The goal: "we need to be prepared as attorneys to show juries how subjective and unfair this is," said Nichols. The crux of the opinion (attached) is courtesy of the National College for DUI Defense and Maryland State Delegate Lenny Stamm and a team of lawyers who fought this investigative tactic in 2010 and 2011.


The most important part of the Brithgful Opinion, based upon the Court's review of ten days of expert testimony, arguments of counsel, case law, exhibits, and the written closings of counsel, the Court provides the following:

Findings of Fact:  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.

Conclusions of Law:  The State failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the drug evaluation and. classification program is not new or novel and is generally accepted within the scientific- community and, therefore- subject to analysis under Frye v. United States and Reed v. State.

The drug evaluation and classification program does not survive a Frye/Reed challenge because it is not generally accepted as valid and reliable in the relevant scientific community which includes pharmacologists, neurologists, opthamologists, toxicologists, behavioral research psychologists, forensic specialists and medical doctors.

Please also find a link to register for training that Mike Nichols is organizing in Detroit this April, 2012http://warhorsemarketing.com/MI-DRE-GC-Overview.html



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Peer Recognition

Mike Nichols is a national leader in drunk driving defense. He is a member of the Forensic Committee and Michigan delegate to the National College for DUI Defense. He is also a Sustaining Member of the College. Nichols is also a founding member of the Michigan Association of OWI Attorneys; a member of the American Chemical Society; an associate member of he American Academy of Forensic Science, Adjunct Professor of Forensic Evidence in Criminal Law and OWI Law and Practice at Cooley Law School. He is also author of the West OWI Practice book and several chapters in other books on science and the law.

Mike Nichols is recognized by his peers in Michigan as a “SuperLawyer” in DUI/Criminal Defense. Nichols has also been asked to speak at conferences by groups such as the NCDD; Various Bar Associations in other states.