Drug Recognition Expert Program
The Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) program trains law enforcement officers to detect drivers under the influence of illegal drugs, prescription and over-the-counter medications, and inhaled products that impair a driver.
Driving While Impaired by Drugs
Impaired drivers are not always impaired by alcohol. A trend which has seen a marked increase is the number of drivers who are impaired by drugs - prescription as well as illicit drugs. The DRE definition of a drug is any substance, when taken into the human body, can impair the ability of a person to operate a vehicle safely.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety, in conjunction with the Governors Office Of Highway Safety and the International Association of Chiefs of Police, is helping to combat this rising problem by continued support of the Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) program. When an person is investigated for driving under the influence, and the breath test shows little or no alcohol in the system, a DRE is contacted to conduct further investigation. A DRE receives training which gives them the tools to observe additional signs of impairment not readily visible to other law enforcement officers.
Law enforcement officers who are interested in the DRE program should contact the training officer/team for their agency for additional information.
An individual in the process of achieving certification as a drug recognition expert is called a candidate DRE. To achieve certification, a person must successfully complete a training program consisting of:
- An IACP/NHTSA-approved SFST training course of instruction
- A two-day IACP/NHTSA-approved DRE preschool
- A seven-day IACP/NHTSA-approved DRE school
- On-the-job field certification