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Pennsylvania Training More Officers in Drug Recognition

Thanks to a growing Drug Evaluation and Classification Program in Pennsylvania, the state now has more officers trained in drug recognition than ever before, with many more expected to continue to take the course.

So far, approximately 200 officers have completed the program. Officials say continued expansion is a priority for the state.

The importance of the program

Drug recognition experts (DREs) are people who have been certified through the program to recognize when someone is under the influence or suffering from a medical condition. There are people who have differing responses to prescription medications, and the certification program helps DREs better understand specific characteristics in drivers that indicate impairment.

For example, eye size is one of the big factors DREs take into account. People on hallucinogens or stimulants may have dilated pupils, or other narcotics might make a person’s eyes restricted.

DREs also analyze factors such as body temperature, pulse and blood pressure.

There are currently three classes planned for 2020 to bring more certified DREs into law enforcement agencies around the state. This program is part of a new approach for officers to better identify which drivers are actually impaired and which are having legitimate medical issues that need immediate attention.

As the way Pennsylvania approaches drug crime and enforcement continues to evolve, it is important that you consult with an attorney to determine how the state’s changing approaches could impact your case. Contact experienced drug defense lawyer in Reading, PA David R. Eshelman.


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