Hearings to begin on validity and reliability of drug recognition testimony

A hearing is expected to begin today in the matter of State v. Olenowski on the issue of the admissibility of drug recognition evaluation (DRE) evidence. The Supreme Court has appointed a special master to hold a hearing and make a recommendation on the reliability of DRE evidence in the matter, calling into question the reliability of expert testimony of DREs who perform drug influence evaluations (DIE). John Menzel and Joshua Reinitz, who are both former chairs of the New Jersey State Bar Association’s (NJSBA) Municipal Court Practice Section, will participate on behalf of the NJSBA before Special Master Joseph F. Lisa, a retired judge. The hearing is expected to last at least six weeks.