The Arizona Drug Evaluation and Classification program has received national acclaim for its success in identifying the drug impaired driver. The goal of this program is to train and certify law enforcement personnel as Drug Recognition Experts (DREs). DREs are frequently called upon to differentiate between drug influence and medical and/or mental disorders. The certified DRE is an extremely valuable tool for combating the adverse impact of drug and alcohol impaired driving. DRE School is extremely demanding. To receive certification as a DRE, three phases of training must be completed. The following summarizes each phase.
PHASE I: Phase I of the drug recognition training, consists of a two-day (16-hour) preschool. During this preschool, students are taught the definition of the term “drug” as it is used in the Drug Evaluation and Classification Program, and become familiar with the techniques of the drug evaluation. Students also begin to learn the techniques and procedures for evaluating persons suspected of drug impairment.
PHASE II: Phase II of training is a seven-day (56-hour) classroom program, during which students receive detailed instruction in the techniques of the drug evaluation examination as well as in physiology, the effects of drugs, and legal considerations. Upon completion of this phase of training, the student must pass a comprehensive written examination before proceeding to Phase III of training, the field certification.
PHASE III: Phase III is the field certification. The field certification portions of training follow the completion of the classroom training, and are conducted at periodic intervals for the next sixty to ninety days. During this portion of the training, students, under the direction of certified instructors, evaluate subjects suspected of being impaired by drugs other than alcohol. After participating and documenting the results of at least twelve drug evaluations, and completing a comprehensive examination, the student is certified as a Drug Recognition Expert.
The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) is the regulating and credentialing organization for the Drug Evaluation and Classification Program.
DRE certification is valid for two years. In order to maintain certification, DREs must recertify every two years. To be considered for DRE training, the applicant must meet the following criteria:
- Submit an application through their agency DRE coordinator to the state DRE coordinator (if the candidate does not have an agency coordinator, he/she will submit the application to the DRE Advisory Committee member in their area following immediate supervisor approval)
- Have a minimum of three years experience in law enforcement, unless waived by their agency coordinator
- Show an acceptable history of DUI enforcement
- Attach a copy of their SFST progress log showing certification
- Attach a copy of their ARIDE certificate
Task Force Reporting and DRE database
Governor's Office of Highway Safety
3030 N. Central Avenue, Suite #1550
Phoenix Arizona 85012
Office: (602) 255-3216, Fax: (602) 255-1265
DRE Application Download (Revised 12/2011)