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Register for Drug Recognition Expert

Police officers and other approved officials are trained to be skilled in the detection and identification of persons impaired by alcohol and/or drugs.

Sergeant Donald Decker (Ret), Drug Recognition Expert (DRE)

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What you need for Register for Drug Recognition Expert

The State of Massachusetts’s Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) program has received national acclaim for its success in identifying the drug-impaired individual. Students obtain certification as DRE’s (Drug Recognition Experts) upon successful completion of the training. Although the focus of the DRE curricula is on the identification of the drug-impaired driver, DRE skills are applied to many different law enforcement activities. In addition, DRE’s are frequently called upon to differentiate between drug influence and medical and/or mental disorders. The certified DRE is a valuable tool for combating the adverse impact of drugs on the communities we serve.


June 18 - 28, 2018, in Franklin, MA (Location to be determined)


How to register Register for Drug Recognition Expert


Please Download and complete the Drug Recognition Expert Training Application, scan and email (preferred), or mail the completed application, along with a copy of your resume, SFST and ARIDE certificates to:

  • E-mail:
  • Mail to: Sgt. Don Decker – MA. State DEC Coordinator, 103 Kernwood Dr., Lynn, MA. 01904


More info about Register for Drug Recognition Expert

Due to class size, needs of the State and budget constraints, not all applicants are successful. Further if the applicant is successful it should be noted that the DRE School is extremely demanding. To receive certification as a DRE, three phases of training must be completed. The following summarizes each phase:

ACADEMIC TRAINING: This phase is typically conducted over two weeks (80 hours). It includes courses in pharmacology, physiology, vital signs, standardized field sobriety testing (SFST), as well as extensive material on each of the seven categories of the drugs of abuse. The training includes three written examinations, an SFST proficiency examination and five written quizzes. Students must achieve a minimum of 80% on the three examinations, and must demonstrate proficiency in administering the SFST in order to progress to the certification phase. The academic training is conducted utilizing creative, participant-centered teaching techniques.

CERTIFICATION PHASE: After successfully completing the academic portion, the students return to their department assignment. It is the student's responsibility to complete the certification requirements following the DRE school. These requirements include: conducting a minimum of 12 drug influence evaluations while under the supervision of a DRE instructor; identifying subjects under the influence of three of the seven drug categories; and attaining a 75% toxicological confirmation rate. In addition, the student must maintain a progress log, rolling log and submit a quality resume. Finally, the student must pass a comprehensive final knowledge examination, and be recommended for certification by two DRE Instructors.

FINAL KNOWLEDGE EXAM: Before certification as a DRE, the student must successfully pass a final comprehensive written knowledge exam. This exam tests the students knowledge in all areas of the DRE curriculum. Multiple choice, decision making and essays are all part of this final knowledge exam, which generally takes the student 4-6 hours to complete. The student must then obtain the written endorsement of two certified DRE instructors.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and the Municipal Police Training Committee are the regulating and credentialing organizations for the DRE program. DRE certification is valid for two years (national). In order to maintain certification, DRE's must conduct a minimum of four evaluations within this time period, submit a rolling log, submit a current resume and attend eight hours of recertification training.

The candidate MUST be certified in NHTSA-approved SFST. An SFST certificate must accompany this application. Further, candidates must have successfully completed the Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) course. Candidates will need the recommendation of at least one Massachusetts Certified DRE. Also, students should have endorsement from their chief and/or training supervisor. In addition, the candidate must agree to a commitment to the DRE program, and remain certified for a period of at least five years from the time of initial certification. An applicant interview will be conducted prior to the candidate being accepted into the program.

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