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National Standards of the Drug Evaluation and Classification Program

A Product of
The IACP Advisory Committee on Highway Safety
of the International Association of Chiefs of Police
with grant assistance from
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Revised December 3, 1997

IACP DRE Standards Executive Summary

Since 1984, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has  supported the Drug Evaluation and Classification Program. The program which was initially  developed by the Los Angeles Police Department and was validated through both laboratory  and field studies conducted by Johns Hopkins University. In 1987, the Advisory Committee  on Highway Safety of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) was  requested by NHTSA to participate in the development and national expansion of the program. As the program has grown, it has become apparent that in order to ensure  continued success, nationally accepted standards must be established. These standards,  which establish criteria for the selection, training and certification of drug recognition  experts, would help to ensure the continued high level of performance of the Drug  Evaluation and Classification Program. In 1988, NHTSA asked the IACP and its Highway Safety Committee to develop this system of nationally accepted standards.

In March of 1989, the IACP and NHTSA sponsored a meeting at the Transportation Safety  Institute in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Persons invited to this meeting included experienced  drug recognition experts, instructors, curriculum specialists, toxicologists, prosecutors  and training administrators. The participants met in working groups to reach consensus concerning the many issues relating to the Drug Evaluation and Classification Program and  to develop recommended minimum standards to the Highway Safety Committee. The standards  were drafted and presented to the committee for review at its mid-year meeting in June  1989. In addition, the committee agreed to name a Drug Evaluation and Classification  Technical Advisory Panel to assist and advise the committee concerning technical aspects  relating to the operation of the program.

The Highway Safety Committee, by resolution, adopted the Interim National Standards of  the Drug Evaluation and Classification Program. The standards were subsequently approved  by the voting membership of the IACP. The standards were adopted on an interim basis  pending the outcome of an evaluation of the effectiveness of the program to be performed  by NHTSA. In October 1992, the standards were officially approved and adopted.

Presented are standards specifying the requirements for certification and recertification of DREs and DRE instructors, standards for decertification and standards  for agency participation. Also, for those agencies participating in the National  Certification Program, a set of administrative guidelines are provided.

The Los Angeles Police Department has in some areas set standards that exceed and/or  clarify those required by the IACP.