Drug Recognition Expert Evaluations:
A Drug Recognition Expert "DRE" evaluation consists of 12 steps. Each step assists the evaluating officer in gaining information with respect to both the level of impairment of a subject, and the category of drug or drugs that may be causing the impairment. The 12 step evaluation is standardized, systematic and consistent.
The evaluation includes:
1) Breath-alcohol test (if reasonable suspicion exists);
2) Interview with the arresting officer (articulation of reasonable and probable grounds);
3) Preliminary examination of and questions to subject;
4) Eye exams, HGN, VGN, LOC;
5) Divided attention tests, Modified Romberg, Walk and turn, One leg stand, Finger to nose;
6) Clinical indicators;
7) Dark room checks, pupil size, pupil reaction to light, ingestion evidence;
8) Muscle tone;
9) Check for injection marks;
10) Interview of subject, statements, observations;
11) Opinion of DRE;
12) Demand for toxicological sample if applicable, preferably urine (but may be blood) which is submitted for toxicological analysis. This sample is used to confirm the opinion of the DRE only and does not speak to the level of impairment of the subject.
The Drug Evaluation and Classification Program "DECP" recognizes seven categories of drugs other than alcohol including: Central Nervous System Depressants; Inhalants; Dissociative Anaesthetics; Cannabis; Central Nervous System Stimulants; Hallucinogens; and Narcotic Analgesics. The drug categories are recognized by their symptomologies rather than the chemical composition of each substance. It is recognized that certain clinical indicators and behaviours are commonly associated with specific drugs or categories of drugs. When these clinical indicators and or behaviours are observed, a trained DRE evaluating officer can accurately determine the category (or categories) of drug (or drugs) causing the impairment.
A DRE face sheet is used to record the results of the testing. A trained and qualified officer may also be used as a scribe during these tests. For the safety of the subject and the DRE officer, a second officer may be present during the evaluations. This officer is only present for the safety of all persons involved and is generally not trained in the drug recognition program, and therefore, will not be able to comment on the results of the tests.