INCREASED USE OF DRUG RECOGNITION EXPERTS (DREs)

INCREASED USE OF DRUG RECOGNITION EXPERTS (DREs) Submitted by: Highway Safety Committee HSC.010.a08 WHEREAS, it is important to recognize drug impairment as a cause in fatal and serious collisions; and WHEREAS, alcohol and drug-related crashes, deaths, and injuries continue to occur at an unacceptable rate; and WHEREAS, data suggest that many alcohol-impaired drivers may be additionally impaired by drug use; and WHEREAS, signs of drug effects in drivers may be overlooked by officers without proper training; and WHEREAS, Drug Evaluation and Classification (DEC), established with the support of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 1988 and managed by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), is a structured program of assessment of suspected drug impaired individuals that systematically collects and documents the signs and symptoms of drug impairment; and WHEREAS, there is a growing concern over the increased number of drug-related crashes on our roadways, and with the increased retirement of police officers trained as Drug Recognition Experts (DREs), additional DRE training and program expansions are needed; now, therefore, be it RESOLVED that the IACP joins with NHTSA in calling for DREs to be proactively utilized, whenever possible, in the investigation of all fatal and serious injury crashes; and, be it FURTHER RESOLVED, that the IACP calls for the continuing need for DRE training and calls upon all jurisdictions to support and sufficiently fund this training; and be it FURTHER RESOLVED, that the IACP calls for a greater acceptance of DRE testimony throughout the legal system; and, therefore be it 22 FURTHER RESOLVED, that law enforcement agencies join the effort to reduce drug-impaired driving related deaths, injuries and property damage by making the detection, investigation, and prosecution of drug-impaired drivers a high priority; and by taking advantage of all opportunities to raise public awareness of the driving-under-the-influence-of-drugs issue through media statements, public service announcements, press releases, high-visibility enforcement and public information campaigns.