The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) coordinates the International Drug Evaluation and Classification (DEC) Program with support from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation. The West Virginia Governor’s Highway Safety Program (GHSP), being the state representative for NHTSA initiatives, was tasked with forming a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) to discuss how the program would be created and carried out the inception of the newly established WV DRE Program.
What is a DRE?
A Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) is a law enforcement officer who has completed the Drug Evaluation Classification Programs certification process that will allow them to investigate a suspected drug impaired driver utilizing the DRE's 12-step systematic and standardized evaluation process.
Generally, the DRE will be called upon to conduct a DRE evaluation after the driver was arrested by another Law Enforcement Officer. However, DREs are usually active impaired driving enforcers and may perform a DRE evaluation on their own arrest when it calls for it.
How is a DRE drug evaluation conducted?
The drug evaluation is typically a post-arrest procedure. DREs conduct their evaluations at police precincts, intake centers, troop detachments or other locations where impaired drivers are transported after arrest.
A DRE evaluates and assesses a person’s appearance and behavior, while they carefully measure and record vital signs and makes precise observations of the person’s automatic responses and reactions. A DRE also administers carefully designed psychophysical tests to evaluate the person’s judgment, information processing ability, coordination and various other characteristics. The DRE will systematically consider everything about the person that could indicate the influence of drugs.
The DRE drug evaluation takes approximately one hour to complete.
Who can become a DRE?
What does DRE training consist of?
The West Virginia DRE training program is extremely demanding. To receive certification as a DRE, you must successfully complete three (3) phases of training. All phases combined take a total of three (3) weeks to complete, and are divided in two distinct time components. Phases I & II take two (2) consecutive weeks to complete, and phase III takes one (1) week to complete and is scheduled approximately one (1) month from the successful completion of phase II. The following summarizes each phase:
Who do I contact about becoming a DRE?
To apply to the program, click here.
For more information about DEC and DRE programs visit http://www.decp.org/.