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Many DEA registrants have become familiar with requests for inspection by DEA Diversion Investigators. If you question the Diversion Investigators (DI's) about your right to refuse inspection, they suggest they will return with an Inspection Warrant. While the DEA's burden is minimal when applying for such a warrant, it is typically not a process that can be completed immediately, as it requires the DEA to prepare the warrant and the associated paperwork to justify the request.

The DEA Form 82 "Notice of Inspection of Controlled Premises is the vehicle by which the DEA documents a registrant's consent to inspection without an inspection warrant. Form 82 and 21 CFR §1316.08 require that the registrant be advised of the following information:

(1) That he (the owner, operator, or agent in charge of the premises) has been informed of his constitutional right not to have an administrative inspection made without an administrative inspection warrant;

(2) That he has right to refuse to consent to such an inspection;

(3) That anything of an incriminating nature which may be found may be seized and used against him in a criminal prosecution;

(4) That he has been presented with a notice of inspection as set forth in Sec. 1316.06;

(5) That the consent is given by him is voluntary and without threats of any kind; and

(6) That he may withdraw his consent at any time during the course of inspection.

Regardless of whether an inspection is performed by consent or warrant, the regulations limit the inspection to the right to "inspect, copy and verify the correctness of records required to be kept" pursuant to the Code of Federal Regulations. It does not authorize the Diversion Investigators to interrogate registrants or their staff. The only communication should be limited to directing the DI to the records they need to inspect. In order to control the scope of an Administrative Inspection, it is advisable to have counsel present to monitor and memorialize the actions of the Diversion Investigators.

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