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27 New England police officers training to be drug recognition experts

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) Office on Highway Safety and the Rhode Island Municipal Police Training Academy are conducting a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) training school at the Providence Police Academy, 200 Chad Brown Street, Providence.

Classes begin on Monday, April 11, and continue through Thursday, April 21. These classes are the first part of a two-phase certification for 17 Rhode Island officers and eight officers from Massachusetts, Connecticut and Vermont. The second phase will take place during the month of June in Phoenix, Arizona. Funding for this training was provided by the RIDOT Office on Highway Safety through a federal grant from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Upon completion of this intense training, Rhode Island will have a total of 42 certified DREs in 22 Rhode Island Police Departments. Rhode Island graduated the first DRE class on November 15, 2010.

A DRE is a police officer trained to recognize impairment in drivers under the influence of drugs other than, or in addition to, alcohol. The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) coordinates the International Drug Evaluation and Classification (DEC) Program with support from NHTSA.

The DRE protocol is a standardized method of examining a motorist suspected of driving under the influence of drugs to determine the following:

(1) whether or not the suspect is impaired; and if so,

(2) whether the impairment relates to drugs or a medical condition; and if drugs,

(3) what category or combination of categories of drugs are the likely cause of the impairment.

When finished with both parts of the course, the newly certified DREs will have completed over 120 hours of intense classroom and field work.

Contact: Dana Alexander Nolfe, RIDOT, 401-222-1362 x4450 Colonel Richard T. Sullivan, (Ret.), Law Enforcement Highway Safety Training Coordinator 401-722-5808 or 401-323-0494

Related links

  • Department or agency: Department of Transportation
  • Online:
  • Release date: 04-15-2011

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