How to Become a Drug Recognition Expert
DRE Training Process and its Prerequisites
A drug recognition expert must have successfully completed an approved course in the Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFSTs) before beginning the three-phase Drug Evaluation and Classification (DEC) Program, which includes the following phases:
Phase One: The 16-hour DRE Pre-school, which includes an overview of the DRE evaluation procedures, the seven drug categories, eye examinations and proficiency in conducting the SFSTs.
Phase Two: The 56-hour DRE School which includes an overview of the drug evaluation procedures, expanded sessions on each drug category, drug combinations, examination of vital signs, case preparation, courtroom testimony, and Curriculum Vitae (C.V.) preparation. At the conclusion of the 7-days of training, the officer must successfully complete a written examination before moving to the third and final phase of training.
Phase Three: During this phase the candidate DRE must complete a minimum of 12 drug evaluations under the supervision of a trained DRE instructor. Of those 12 evaluations, the officer must identify an individual under the influence of at least three of the seven drug categories and obtain a minimum 75% toxicological corroboration rate. The office must then pass a final knowledge examination and be approved by two DRE instructors before being certified as a certified DRE.
Many states require an application to be considered for DRE training. The application form provides detailed information about the applicants work history and involvement in impaired driving enforcement. Each State has an application form that can be obtained through the State DECP Coordinator.