Delane v. State

In Delane v. State, 01-10-00698-CR, 369 S.W.3d412 , 2012 WL 340234 (Tex. App.--Houston 1st Dist. Feb. 2, 2012, no pet. h.), the defendant was charged and convicted of driving while intoxicated "by reason of introduction of a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances or any other substance into the body." He argued on appeal the trial court erred in admitting "unreliable and irrelevant scientific evidence" because the officer was not a certified drug recognition expert. Relying on Layton, the appellate court reversed the trial court's ruling allowing in testimony from the officer regarding the effects of drugs on the defendant. The court reviewed the officer's experience and noted he had made over one thousand arrests for DWI, had taken a field-sobriety-testing detection course, and had taken a drug-recognition-expert course. However, the court also noted that the officer was not a certified drug recognition expert and had not taken the exam to become certified. Id. The record also did not reveal that he had any expert knowledge about the medications involved, but rather showed he was "familiar" with them based on his review of a drug handbook for nurses and anecdotal reports as to how one of the medications had generally affected his wife in the past. Id. Accordingly, the appellate court concluded the testimony, along with the officer's ultimate opinion on the defendant's intoxication, was neither relevant nor reliable.