Enforcing Driving Under the Influence of Drugs Laws with the Drug Evaluation and Classification Program

The Los Angeles Police Department, NHTSA, and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) developed the Drug Evaluation and Classification (DEC) program, which trains police officers to recognize the signs and symptoms of drug use and to classify the drug causing a person's impairment. DEC assists officers in identifying and charging drivers impaired by drugs other than alcohol. The DEC process is a systematic, standardized, post-arrest procedure used to determine whether a suspect is impaired by one or more categories of drugs. Officers who complete an extensive training program of 72 classroom hours plus supervised field experience are certified as Drug Recognition Experts (DREs). DREs learn to observe a suspect's appearance, behavior, performance on psychophysical tests, eye movements in different lighting conditions, and vital signs to ascertain what category or categories of drugs are causing the impairment. A blood or urine sample is submitted to a laboratory for analysis and corroboration of the DRE s conclusion. There are approximately 4,500 trained DREs in 32 states (fewer than 1% of all law enforcement officers in the U.S.). The DEC program has been shown to be an effective tool in removing the drug-impaired driver from the highway. DEC officers are highly effective in identifying drug impairment and obtaining convictions for over 90% of those charged with DUID. This paper provides an overview of the DEC program and presents the results of several field evaluations of the program.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: CD-ROM
  • Features: Figures; References;
  • Pagination: 9p
  • Monograph Title: Road Safety on Four Continents, Warsaw, Poland, 5-7 October 2005, Conference Proceedings

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01091631
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 16 2008 2:33PM