Pennsylvania Drug Evaluation and Classification Program

Pennsylvania DUI Association

Annual Report

The 2023 Drug Evaluation & Classification Program Annual Report is now available. Click the link to the left to view the report.

New Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) Agency Toolkit

This toolkit provides resources for new DREs and agencies establishing a DRE program. The toolkit includes 5 Reasons to Send an Officer to DRE School, Funding Options for DEC Programs, Model DRE Policy and much more. To download the toolkit please click this link – New DRE Agency Toolkit

Drug Evaluation and Classification Program Training Information

The Drug Evaluation and Classification Program (DECP) focuses on training police officers to recognize when an individual has been driving under the influence of drugs and to identify the type of drug causing impairment. The DECP was developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and approved by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). The Pennsylvania DECP was initiated in 2004. Upon completion of their initial training, officers are certified as Drug Recognition Experts (DREs) and become far more effective in identifying drug impaired individuals.

Drug Evaluation and Classification Program Training

The Pennsylvania DECP will assist police officers in identifying the drug-impaired individual. 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 objectives. For example, DREs are frequently called upon to differentiate between drug influence and medical and/or mental disorders. Certified DREs are a valuable resource in combating the adverse impact of drugs in the communities we serve.

Due to limitations on class size, program requirements, and availability of funding, not all applicants are selected to attend. All applicants will receive written correspondence indicating acceptance or denial to the training at least fourteen (14) days prior to the start of training. It is essential that all applicants be committed and determined to successfully complete the training. DRE School is extremely intensive and demanding. To receive certification as a DRE, two (2) phases of training must be completed. The following paragraphs summarize each phase:


This phase is typically conducted over two-weeks (72 classroom hours). It includes courses in physiology, vital signs, standardized field sobriety testing (SFST), as well as extensive instruction on each of the seven (7) drug categories in the DECP. The training includes three (3) written examinations, an SFST proficiency examination and five (5) written quizzes. Students must achieve a minimum of 80% on each of the three (3) examinations, and must demonstrate proficiency in administering the SFSTs in order to progress to the certification phase. The academic training is conducted utilizing creative, participant-centered teaching techniques.


Upon successfully completing the academic portion, all students will be scheduled to attend the certification phase for at least five (5) consecutive days. It is the student’s responsibility to complete the certification requirements within a six-month period following the DRE school. The requirements of this phase include: conducting a minimum of twelve (12) drug influence evaluations while under the supervision of a DRE instructor; identifying subjects under the influence of three (3) of the seven (7) drug categories; and attaining a 75% toxicological confirmation rate. In addition, the student must maintain a progress log, rolling log and submit a quality resume. Finally, the student must pass a comprehensive final knowledge examination which takes approximately eight (8) to twelve (12) hours to complete and obtain the written endorsement of two (2) certified DRE instructors.

DRE certification is valid for two (2) years. In order to maintain certification, DREs must conduct a minimum of four (4) evaluations within this time period, submit a rolling log, submit a curriculum vitae, teach a minimum of eight (8) hours of DUI related material, and attend eight (8) hours of recertification training.

Pennsylvania DRE Trainings

Click on the class you are interested in attending for details.






September 10 – 27, 2024


Registration Deadline: August 2, 2024

DRE Class Application 
SFST Proficiency for DRE Application

DRE School Prerequisites and Application

The following are the prerequisites for DRE School Candidates:

  • NHTSA Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST) Practitioner
  • NHTSA Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST) Instructor
  • NHTSA Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) Training
  • Class A Breath Test Operator (Preferred, not required)
  • Minimum Experience –  Three (3) Years

To apply for the DRE School please submit the following:

  • DRE Candidate Application
  • SFST Proficiency Exam to be conducted by currently certified DRE. (find a DRE in your county)
  • Resume Highlighting Impaired Driver Training and Courtroom Testimony
  • Letters of Recommendation from:
    • Chief of Police
    • Current Drug Recognition Expert or District Attorney (or designee)

Applications can be submitted via email to: [email protected] or mailed to:

Pennsylvania DUI Association
Attention: DRE Training
2413 North Front Street
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17110

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