ACLU-PA Position: Opposes
SB 137 (PN 110) would add a five dollar surcharge to DUI fines, collected in a restricted account, to fund the training of Pennsylvania State Police officers as Drug Recognition Experts (DREs). DREs are law enforcement officers trained to conduct field sobriety tests and are called to a scene where a person is suspected of driving under the influence of drugs to determine whether or not the suspect is impaired.
SB 137 would impose yet another unaffordable financial burden on people and as a result, would make it even less likely that those revenues are ever collected — a problem we examined in our report, Imposition and Collection of Fines, Costs, and Restitution in Pennsylvania Criminal Courts. Moreover, the primary element of the DRE examination is an eye test that is so unreliable, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed a ruling to prohibit the test from being admitted as expert testimony at DUI trials.