U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

What's A DRE

NCJ Number
Law and Order Volume: 39 Issue: 6 Dated: (June 1991) Pages: 40,54-56
J I Zarraga
Date Published
4 pages
The work of the Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) in identifying causes of drugged driving is described.
A DRE is a police officer specially trained in recognizing specific symptoms and behaviors that are caused by drugs. The officers take over 80 hours of classroom instruction and 100 hours of field certification training, pass several written examinations, conduct at least 15 evaluations, and have 4 separate drug categories confirmed by toxicology. The DRE can determine if the impairment is caused by alcohol, drugs, a combination of both, or a condition that may require medical attention. Urine or blood samples are analyzed for drug type. Symptoms and general characteristics are listed for drugs in categories of central nervous system (CNS) depressants, CNS stimulants, hallucinogens, phencyclidines, narcotic analgesics, inhalants, cannabis in the Drug Recognition process. Polydrug use, null effect, overlapping effect, additive effect, and antagonistic effect are also covered. Through the DRE training, law enforcement has the means to identify drug impaired drivers and collect evidence to prosecute them as well as to apply this training to other areas of police work.