Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) School
Colorado Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) Program
The State of Colorado’s Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) program has received national acclaim for its success
in identifying and prosecuting drug impaired drivers. Although the focus of the DRE curricula is on the
identification of the drug impaired driver, DRE skills are applied to many different law enforcement activities.
In addition, DREs are frequently called upon to differentiate between drug impairment and medical issues. The
certified DRE is a valuable tool for combating impaired driving.
Due to class size, the needs of the State, and budget constraints, not all applicants will be accepted. Further, if
the applicant is successful, it should be noted that the DRE School is extremely demanding. To receive
certification as a DRE, all phases of training must be completed.
Academic Training- This phase is typically conducted over a two-week period. It includes courses in
physiology, vital signs, standardized field sobriety testing (SFST), as well as extensive material on each
of the seven categories of drugs. The training includes three written examinations, an SFST proficiency
examination, and five written quizzes. Students must achieve a minimum score of 80% on all written
examinations, and must demonstrate proficiency in administering the SFSTs to progress to the
Certification Phase- After successfully completing the academic portion, the students return to their
agencies. The student is required to complete the following within six months following the DRE
• Conduct a minimum of 12 drug influence evaluations.
• Identify a minimum of
three (3) of the seven (7) drug categories.
• Obtain a 75% toxicological confirmation rate.
• Maintain a progress log, rolling log, and submit a curriculum vitae.
• Pass the comprehensive Final Knowledge Exam with the endorsement of two DRE
• Complete the certification process in 6 months or less.
The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and the Colorado Department of Transportation
(CDOT) are the regulating and certifying organizations for the DRE Program. DRE certification is valid for
two years. To maintain certification, DREs are required to complete (as the evaluator) a minimum of four
evaluations (one of which is observed by a DRE Instructor), submit a rolling log and current resume, attend 8
hours of training approved by the State DRE Coordinator during this period to remain active, and enter all
evaluations into the national database.
The IACP and CO DRE standards are provided for your review at: https://www.codot.gov/safety/dre. Review
these standards prior to completing this application.
To apply for the DRE School, you must be a certified Colorado Peace Officer in compliance with all the
Colorado Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) requirements. You must be currently certified in the
NHTSA/IACP 24 hr. Basic SFST Class with a minimum of 1 live alcohol lab. You must have successfully
attended the NHTSA Advance Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) class. Please note that the
on-line ARIDE class does not qualify for this requirement. It is preferred that the applicant have traffic
enforcement experience , specifically in regards to impaired driving enforcement and courtroom testimony.