Drug Recognition Expert
The Drug Evaluation and Classification Program (DECP) focuses on training police officers to recognize when an individual has been driving under the influence of drugs and to identify the type of drug causing impairment. The DECP was developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and approved by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). The DECP was initiated in 2004. Upon completion of training, officers are certified as Drug Recognition Experts (DREs) and become far more effective with identifying drug impaired individuals. The Pennsylvania DECP assists police officers in identifying the drug-impaired individual. Although the focus of the DRE curricula is on the identification of the drug-impaired driver, DRE skills are applied to many different law enforcement objectives. For example, DREs are frequently called upon to differentiate between drug influence and medical and/or mental illness disorders. Certified DREs are a valuable resource in combatting the adverse impact of drugs in the communities we serve.