Drug Recognition Expert

Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) police officers are trained to be able to identify drug impaired drivers. DRE refers not only to the officers themselves, but to the 12-step procedure that these officers use. DRE was developed by police officers from the Los Angeles (California) Police Department. In 1979, the Drug Recognition program received the official recognition of the LAPD. As of 2005, approximately 6000 police officers are certified as Drug Recognition Experts. Certification is issued by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) [1].


12 Steps of the Drug Evaluation Process

  1. Breath Alcohol Test - A sample of breath is taken from the test subject to determine the concentration of alcohol, if any, in the test subject.
  2. Interview of Arresting Officer - The DRE consults with the investigator(s) to determine the circumstances leading up to the apprehension of the test subject.
  3. Preliminary Examination - Initial examination of the subject. Some questions are asked in relation to the subject's medical/physical limitations.
  4. Eye Examination - Eyes are examined for pupils being equal, the ability of the eyes to track a stimulus equally, to monitor the smoothness of that tracking, to look for Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, as well as Vertical Gaze Nystagmus.
  5. Divided Attention Tests - One Leg Stand is done with both legs. Walk and Turn test is done. Modified Romberg Balance test. And Finger to Nose test is done.
  6. Examination of Vital Signs - Blood pressure, pulse and body temperature is taken.
  7. Dark Room Examinations - Examination of the pupil sizes in near total darkness, under direct light, and in normal room light. Examination of the oral and nasal cavities are done at the same time.
  8. Examination of Muscle Tone - Flexion and Extension of the muscles are tested, to see if there is flaccidity, or rigidity of the muscles.
  9. Examination of Injection Sites - Examination of common injection sites to determine if the subject is using injected substances.
  10. Suspects Statements / Other Observations - Soliciting information from the test subject which will corroborate signs and symptoms that the evaluator has observed.
  11. Opinion of the Evaluator - The DRE makes a determination of the class or classes of drugs that a subject is under the influence based on a matrix of symptomology that has been developed during studies of subjects under the influence of known classes of drugs.
  12. The Toxicological Examination - Blood, saliva or urine is obtained by demand, which is analyzed to determine what class of substances are present that corroborates the DRE's opinion.

7 Drug Categories

  1. Central Nervous System Depressants
  2. Inhalants
  3. Dissociative Anesthetics
  4. Cannabis
  5. Central Nervous System Stimulants
  6. Hallucinogens
  7. Narcotic Analgesics

  • Important notes about categorization: The DRE program categorizes substances based on their effects on the central nervous system (CNS) rather than chemical structure, scheduling, or legal status. An example of this would be having the drug MDMA (MethyleneDioxyMethAmphetamine) in the Hallucinogens category when someone outside the program might call it a CNS stimulant. MDMA does have strong stimulant properties, but also causes hallucinations in its users, which is one of the chief reasons for its abuse. Hence, for DRE purposes it is an Hallucinogen. Additionally, the DRE program classifies some substances as "drugs" that are not commmonly thought of in society as such. A good example of this could be found in the Inhalants category of drugs in paint, gasoline, and lacquer thinner, which affect the CNS.

Also, the DRE program does not consider some substances to be drugs that society would classify as a drug. An example of this would be acetaminophen (Tylenol). It is commonly used to relieve body aches and improve the human condition. However, it is not recognized as a drug within the program because it is not psychoactive (affecting CNS function) and would not be considered a "drug".


  1. ^ http://www.theiacp.org/

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Targeted drug delivery — Targeted drug delivery, sometimes called smart drug delivery,[1] is a method of delivering medication to a patient in a manner that increases the concentration of the medication in some parts of the body relative to others. The goal of a targeted …   Wikipedia

  • Politics of drug abuse — Most countries have legislation designed to criminalise some drug use. Usually however the legislative process is self referential, defining abuse in terms of what is made illegal. The legislation concerns lists of drugs specified by the… …   Wikipedia

  • Arguments for and against drug prohibition — Arguments about the prohibition of drugs, and over drug policy reform, are subjects of considerable controversy. The following is a presentation of major drug policy arguments, including those for drug law enforcement on one side of the debate,… …   Wikipedia

  • Generic drug — A generic drug (generic drugs, short: generics) is a drug defined as a drug product that is comparable to brand/reference listed drug product in dosage form, strength, route of administration, quality and performance characteristics, and intended …   Wikipedia

  • Drunk driving in the United States — Drunk driving is the act of operating and/or driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs to the degree that mental and motor skills are impaired. It is illegal in all jurisdictions within the United States, though… …   Wikipedia

  • Drunk driving (United States) — Drunk driving is the act of operating and/or driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs to the degree that mental and motor skills are impaired. It is illegal in all jurisdictions within the U.S. The specific… …   Wikipedia

  • DRE — Defect Removal Efficiency, a metric used by Quality Control departments of businesses Dr. Dre, American record producer and rapper Mac Dre, deceased American rapper. Digital rectal examination Doctor of Religious Education Direct Recording… …   Wikipedia

  • Maryland Transportation Authority Police — Not to be confused with Maryland Transit Administration Police. Maryland Transportation Authority Police Abbreviation MdTAP Pa …   Wikipedia

  • DRE — Dressing (Medical » Physiology) ** Digital Rectal Examination (Computing » General) * Digital Rectal Exam (Medical » Physiology) * Director Of Religious Education (Community) * Drug Recognition Expert (Governmental » Police) * Dynamic Reasoning… …   Abbreviations dictionary

  • Mary Jo McGrath — Mary Jo McGrath, (born 1946) founder and chief executive officer of McGrath Training Systems,[1] Santa Barbara, California, is an investigative attorney with expertise in education and personnel law. In 1986, she established McGrath Training… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.