A drug recognition expert (DRE), sometimes referred to as a drug recognition evaluator, is an
individual who has successfully completed all phases of the Drug Evaluation and Classification
Program's (DECP) training requirements for certification as established by the International
Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA). A DRE is skilled in detecting and identifying persons under the influence of drugs/
alcohol and in identifying the category or categories of drugs causing the impairment.
It is important to recognize and address the increase of dangers imposed by drivers under the
influence of illicit drugs and prescription medications. The DECP is a national effort to deter
impaired driving by increasing the likelihood that people who drive under the influence of drugs
will be detected, arrested, and prosecuted. The DECP focuses on a 12-step examination which
makes up the DRE drug influence examination.
The initial step is the breath test completed by the arresting officer. If the Blood Alcohol
Concentration reading is less than 0.08% and the officer believes the subject appears more
impaired than what the reading suggests, a DRE is requested. The responding DRE performs
more in-depth testing of the subject to determine if the subject is under the influence of one or
more of seven drug categories.