The Drug Recognition Expert course is a series of three training phases that, collectively, prepare police officers to serve as Drug Recognition Experts (DREs). A police officer who is specially trained and has continued training to conduct examinations of drug impaired drivers is designated as a Drug Recognition Expert. The certification of DRE is recognized nationally.
DREs identify the categories of drugs inducing the observable signs of impairment manifested by an individual, through a systematic and standardized evaluation protocol. This protocol involves observation of vital signs, psychophysical testing and physical examination.
This training, developed as part of the Drug Evaluation and Classification Program (DECP) under the auspices and direction of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), has experienced remarkable success since its inception in the 1980s.
The ultimate goal of the Drug Evaluation and Classification Program is to “Help prevent crashes, deaths and injuries caused by drug-impaired drivers.”
No one knows precisely how many people operate motor vehicles while under the influence of drugs, or how many crashes, deaths and injuries these people cause. But even the most conservative estimates suggest that America’s drug-impaired drivers kill thousands of people each year, and seriously injure tens of thousands of others.
Officer Kyle Gribi and Officer Timothy Rogers serve as Drug Recognition Experts for the Easthampton Police Department. These officers also conduct drug recognition evaluations for many different agencies in Western Massachusetts, and are prepared to respond at any time, on any day.