Drug Recognition Expert

The Division of State Police has been participating in the Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) program since 1991.

photo of alcohol detection deviceThe unit’s members are highly trained troopers skilled in the detection of drivers impaired by alcohol and drugs. Detection is accomplished by administering a standardized and systematic evaluation that includes a breath test, a series of psychophysical tests, checks of vital signs, a series of eye examinations including measuring pupil sizes under various conditions of light, and an interview of the arresting officer. At the completion of the evaluation, a DRE is able to opinionate a category or categories of drugs which may impair the suspect from safely driving a motor vehicle. This opinion is then confirmed by the toxicology results of a blood test. Some of the drug categories opinionated recently are Central Nervous System Depressants, Central Nervous System Stimulants, Narcotic Analgesics, and Cannabis.

In addition to instructing at Police Standards and Training, members of the DRE Unit conduct drug impairment training for various state and local groups within the public and private sectors.