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Gombey
10-13-2012, 21:02
I am interested in becoming DRE certified.

I have been talking to a couple of members here and on the advice of one I am starting this thread for advice, tips and any other information those already certified would like to share with me and with others that may be interested.

DaBigBR
10-13-2012, 23:25
I suggested the thread as I thought there might be interest throughout the board (I know there was any I mentioned that I was going a short time back).

I just finished DRE school. In my state, the entire program is funded by the state, down to reimbursement for the cost of meals. It literally costs the agency nothing but gas and salary. They also only take 16 a year, which makes it highly competitive. The cost ($5k+ per student) also makes the board highly selective. Applicants turn in an application packet that includes a resume, report exemplars, and preferably a prosecutor's endorsement. To put things in perspective in regards to competition: my agency produces significant DRE numbers and one of our people is on the selection board. Despite that, one of the applicants we sent this year did not make the cut.

If you want to do it:

1) Perfect your field sobriety and general impaired driving enforcement skills. You will be expected to know your SFSTs and administer them to NHTSA guidelines. Cut out all of the personalized bull**** you've probably worked in to your tests over the years and go back to what NHTSA says. If anybody wants a scanned copy of the latest NHTSA card and instructions, let me know. I had ultra-personalized instructions for the divided attention tests that I completely abandoned after teaching the SFST refresher at ARIDE.

2) Get yourself to ARIDE, DAR, or any sort of field drug recognition class. Learn more about drug impaired driving and start making more arrests. These people are out there ALL THE TIME. If you are a street officer, I guarantee you that you are missing more than you find. If you're a DRE, I suspect you're still missing more than you find. Also consider doing SFST instructor school. In my state SFST instructor is put on often and is much easier to get in to.

3) Watch some evaluations. Hook up with a DRE in your area and see if you can sit in on some evaluations. Watch what they do and take note of what they see. I saw dozens of evaluations before coming to the school. Not only did it help in actually learning the evaluation process and so forth, it made it clear to the people in my agency that I was interested in becoming a DRE.

4) Do what it takes to get trained. I know that Gombey is looking out of state because of the time it will take for another school to come around in his state. Don't be afraid to consider that. I know we have had out of state people in our state's school before. The process is the same everywhere and the class is the same everywhere.

5) When you get in, take it seriously. Many people describe it as the hardest training they have ever attended. I didn't find it that daunting, but it is definitely not an "application guarantees admission" or "attendance guarantees graduation" type course. We graduated all who attended, but that isn't always the case. You'll be tested regularly (pre-school post test, five quizzes, final classroom test, must conduct 12 evaluations with 75% of your calls supported by tox for certification, and then a final certification knowledge exam). Definitely not the type of class where you'll be able to go out drinking every night and show up hungover every morning.

If you've got further questions, post them up or PM me.

RetailNinja
10-14-2012, 02:14
ARIDE is the best class I ever took. Take it before you go DRE. With a LOT of the F'd up sht people are getting F'd up on, being a DRE isn't too appealing anymore.

BSA70
10-14-2012, 19:12
In NC the DRE program is very difficult. I have been to the required peliminary course to get into the program but have not committed to the program.

I hope you enjoy court. You will go to trial on most cases. The conviction will depend largely on your knowledge and testimony.

You must have the DA's office backing 100% and that is not always easy.

It is difficult to maintain.

All this is from my departments perspective and the area I live. I'm in a rural area and do 100% traffic enforcement. Impairment from drugs is pretty rare and mostly alcohol impairment is what we deal with.You have to deal with cases very frequently to stay on top of the craft.

With alcohol, we have .08 standard on our side and that really helps. There is no standard in drug impairment. No standard to go by with prescription drugs.

If you live in a very busy-city area, you will do fine and be an asset.

If you go thru the training. You will never look into a person's eyes the same. There are so many clues the eyes give away with what someone is taking.

bsa

DaBigBR
10-14-2012, 22:22
ARIDE is the best class I ever took. Take it before you go DRE. With a LOT of the F'd up sht people are getting F'd up on, being a DRE isn't too appealing anymore.

Why isn't appealing? They're going to be out there and they're going to be driving whether you're a DRE or not. You can stick your head in the sand and ignore the problem, or you can try to be part of the solution. I would much rather be part of the solution.

When the SFST battery was being developed the Fort Lauderdale study showed that conservatively, we were arresting drunk (0.100% and up) drivers at a rate of only one per five hundred contacted. Better impaired driving enforcement training has significantly helped with that I'm certain that we are more likely to miss one out of five hundred alcohol drunks today, but conversely, I guarantee you that we're contacting, face to face, dozens and even hundreds more drug impaired drivers than we are catching. The training isn't there and the observable signs are at the same time less obvious and more numerous than with alcohol.

BSA70
10-15-2012, 04:06
but conversely, I guarantee you that we're contacting, face to face, dozens and even hundreds more drug impaired drivers than we are catching. The training isn't there and the observable signs are at the same time less obvious and more numerous than with alcohol.

I agree with you 100% The ones totally fubar-ed is easy to detect. The marginal, habitual user impairment is very hard to detect. Drugs fit in so many different areas and give different clues. As my DRE instructor stated concerning drug clues, "YOU CANNOT SAY THE WORD ALWAYS OR NEVER."!

Knute
10-15-2012, 06:41
DRE was probably the best overall training I have ever attended thus far in my job. You can take what you learn and use it a lot with the people you are dealing with on "normal" calls. Don't take it lightly though. Lots of quizzes and tests.

I am no longer certified, but have never gone to trial on any DRE evaluations. They are always more thorough and defense attorneys won't test you that much, assuming you are thorough and do good reports.

Gombey
10-24-2012, 19:24
Well, I emailed the state coordinator about two days ago. I think I'll give him a call tomorrow to follow up.

Looks like there are no ARIDE classes this year either...