In Washington State, Drug Recognition Experts, also known as DREs are regular law enforcement officer’s who have received additional training to recognize impaired drivers who are under the influence of drugs other than, or in addition to alcohol.
In the 1970’s the Los Angeles Police Department developed the Drug Evaluation and Classification Program (DECP). The purpose of the program was to train officers on how to determine whether a driver is under the influence of drugs, and then to determine the type of drug causing the impairment. Washington State adopted the program in 1996 and currently has approximately 230 active DREs. While individual agency policies can vary on when specifically a DRE will be called, they generally investigate major collisions and when officers suspect drug involvement.