Drug Recognition Expert (DRE)

DRE Training and Certification

Drug Recognition Expert Training

The DRE Program trains police officers and other approved public safety officials as drug recognition experts (DREs) through a three-phase training process:

  1. Drug Recognition Expert Pre-School (16 hours)
  2. Drug Recognition Expert DRE School (56 hours)
  3. Drug Recognition Expert Field Certification (Approximately 40 – 60 hrs)

The training relies heavily on the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST’s), which provide the foundation for the DEC Program. Once trained and certified, DREs become highly effective officers skilled in the detection and identification of persons impaired by alcohol and/or drugs. DREs are trained to conduct a systematic and standardized 12-step evaluation consisting of physical, mental and medical components.

Because of the complexity and technical aspects of the DRE training, not all police officers may be suited for the training. Experience has shown that training a well-defined group of officers proficient in impaired driving enforcement works well and can be very effective.

The DRE classroom training is designed to assist the student achieve three broad goals and eight specific learning objectives.

Goals:

  1. Determine if an individual is under the influence of a drug or drugs other than alcohol, or the combined influence of alcohol and other drugs, or suffering from some injury or illness that produces similar signs to alcohol/drug impairment;
  2. Identify the broad category or categories of drugs inducing the observable signs and symptoms of impairment; and
  3. Progress to the Field Certification Phase of the training.

Objectives:

  1. Be able to describe the involvement of drugs in impaired driving incidents;
  2. Name the seven drug categories and recognize their effects;
  3. Describe and properly administer the psychophysical and physiological evaluations used in the drug evaluation and classification procedures;
  4. Prepare a narrative drug influence evaluation report;
  5. Discuss appropriate procedures for testifying in typical drug evaluation and classification cases, and;
  6. Maintain up-to-date DRE curriculum vitae.

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