DRE Definitions & Terms
Washington State Drug Recognition Expert
Persons not certified as DREs but who possess knowledge, expertise or credentials deemed valuable to the program may be designated as associate instructors for the Drug Evaluation and Classification Program.
BLOOD ALCOHOL CONCENTRATION (BAC):
A person's blood alcohol concentration indicates the grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood. For example, a BAC of 0.10% means that there is one-tenth of a gram of alcohol in 100 milliliters of the person's blood.
An individual in the process of achieving certification as a drug recognition expert. To achieve certification, a person must successfully complete a training program consisting of
An IACP/NHTSA-approved SFST training course of instruction
A two-day IACP/NHTSA-approved DRE preschool
A seven-day IACP/NHTSA-approved DRE school
On-the-job field certification
CANDIDATE DRE INSTRUCTOR:
An individual in the process of achieving certification as a DRE instructor. To achieve certification, a DRE must successfully complete the IACP/NHTSA-approved DRE instructor training, conduct a minimum of two hours of DRE training, and witness two drug evaluations.
An individual who ensures that each training event follows the standardized curriculum and evaluates the training event to identify ways to improve it. The course manager represents the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the International Association of Chiefs of Police and resolves issues with the content and/or delivery of the training.
The appropriate DRE coordinator will be one of the following:
The person designated within each department or agency responsible for maintaining program records, ensuring maintenance of program standards and conducting training and certification sessions within the agency. Responsibility for this function may rest with one individual, in the case of a small or closely coordinated effort, or may be decentralized among several people throughout the agency. If there is no designated agency coordinator, the appropriate DRE coordinator shall be the state coordinator.
In each of the states in which the Drug Evaluation and Classification Program has been implemented under the auspices of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an individual has been designated to act as the statewide coordinator for the DEC Program. The duties of the position generally include but are not limited to
1. Acting as an information clearinghouse and central communication point for the program within the state.
2. Assisting in coordinating training and other support activities for all agencies participating in the program within the state.
3. Coordinating the assignment of instructors in response to requests for service from federal and other sources.
The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety shall be responsible for designating the state coordinator. If there is no designated state coordinator, the appropriate DRE coordinator shall be the TAP regional coordinator, who shall assume the duties and responsibilities as described above.
TAP Regional Coordinator:
One DRE from each of the four regions, as established by the Division of State and Provincial Police, is appointed by the IACP Highway Safety Committee Chair to serve on the Technical Advisory Panel.
Individuals who, having been trained and certified as drug recognition experts, receive further training and experience instructing within the Drug Evaluation and Classification Program.
Certified instructors will usually be certified DREs with experience in performing drug evaluations and in providing testimony in court in the area of drug recognition. Certified instructors are responsible for observing, evaluating and verifying the performance of candidate DREs.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE AGENCY:
For purposes of these standards, a criminal justice agency is any organization, funded by public monies, that is involved in the apprehension, prosecution, adjudication of public miscreants; or in the incarceration, detention, supervision or control of said miscreants following apprehension, prosecution and/or adjudication.
For purposes of the Drug Evaluation and Classification Program, a drug is any substance that, when taken into the human body, can impair the ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. Note that this is not necessarily a strict medical definition.
A process of systematically examining a person suspected of being under the influence of a drug, for the purpose of ascertaining what category of drugs (or combination of categories) is causing the person's impairment. A trained DRE can identify, with a high degree of reliability, the distinguishing signs and symptoms of seven broad categories of drugs.
DRUG EVALUATION AND CLASSIFICATION TECHNICAL ADVISORY PANEL:
This group was formed to assist the Highway Safety Committee of the International Association of Chiefs of Police on specific matters relating to the Drug Evaluation and Classification Program. These matters include the revision of the approved training curriculum, review and approval of proposed alternative training programs, and other matters relating to the technical aspects of the DEC Program.
DRUG RECOGNITION EXPERT (DRE):
An individual who has successfully completed all phases of training requirements for certification established by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
HIGHWAY SAFETY COMMITTEE:
A standing committee of the IACP that addresses highway safety issues.
HORIZONTAL GAZE NYSTAGMUS (HGN):
A loss of the normal control of the eyes observed as an involuntary jerking occurring when a person attempts to follow as stimulus with the eyes and/or looks to the left or right side.
One of the several terms used to describe the degradation of mental and/or motor abilities necessary for safely operating a motor vehicle.
Every state has enacted a version of an Implied Consent law, which serves to encourage persons arrested for DWI to submit to a chemical test to determine blood alcohol content. Many states also allow for the testing of blood, breath or urine for the presence of drugs and/or alcohol. The concept of implied consent is that the state views the suspect as already having agreed to take the test, as a condition of operating a vehicle in the state. The typical wording of an implied consent law is as follows: “Any person who operates a motor vehicle upon the public highways of this state shall be deemed to have given consent to a chemical test or tests for the purpose of determining the alcohol (or drug) content of his or her blood, when arrested for any act alleged to have been committed while the person was operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol (or any drug).”
The law further provides that, if the arrestee nevertheless refuses to submit to the chemical test, he or she will not be forced to submit, but the driver's license will be suspended or revoked.
With grant assistance from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Division of State and Provincial Police of the IACP has agreed to develop standards and assist in managing the certification process for the Drug Evaluation and Classification Program. As part of this agreement, the IACP will perform necessary staff and coordination functions for the program. The staff of the Division of State and Provincial Police is responsible for maintaining records for the program and will coordinate certification and recertification processes.
An experienced DRE instructor who conducts instructor training courses and who must be knowledgeable of and have audited all phases of the Drug Evaluation and Classification training program and must be fully conversant with the student and instructor manuals.
One of the several terms used to describe the degradation of mental and/or motor skills and other faculties due to ingestion of alcohol or other drugs.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, within the United States Department of Transportation that exercises primary responsibility for coordinating federal efforts to ensure the safe design and operation of motor vehicles.
STANDARDIZED FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS:
The Standardized Field Sobriety Tests include three tests that were developed and validated through a series of controlled experiments supported by research grants from NHTSA. The three tests include Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN); Walk and Turn (WAT); and One Leg Stand (OLS).
The HGN test is described elsewhere in these definitions.
Walk and Turn and One Leg Stand are divided attention tests. As such, they require the suspect to concentrate on more than one thing at a time.
The training course developed by IACP and NHTSA, “DWI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing,” is a program designed to train traffic enforcement officers to administer the sobriety tests. The training includes two approved alcohol workshops. During these workshops, students practice administering the test battery. In order to complete the course satisfactorily, students must pass a written examination and demonstrate proficiency in administering the field sobriety test battery.