Drug Recognition Evaluations in Oregon are performed by police officers with specialized training referred to as a “Drug Recognition Experts” or “Drug Recognition Evaluators” (often abbreviated as “DRE”). A Drug Recognition Expert is a law enforcement officer trained to identify people whose driving is impaired by intoxication due to drugs, alcohol, or a combination of drugs and alcohol.
There are over 200 Drug Recognition Experts in Oregon. Not all officers are qualified to be able to perform Drug Recognition Evaluations. There is significant training required to receive the necessary certification to become a Drug Recognition Expert.
What makes a Drug Recognition Expert an “Expert?”
Outside of a courtroom, nearly anyone can refer to themselves as an “expert.” When testifying in a trial, an expert needs to be recognized by the Court as an “expert witness” before they can testify as an expert and use the label or designation of “expert.” Drug Recognition Experts often attempt to testify in court and– if they can demonstrate to the Court that they have specialized education, knowledge, and training in their field or a particular topic– they can receive the designation of “expert witness.” It’s important to note that– just because a witness is allowed to testify, even as an expert witness– the judge or jury are not required to adopt, agree with, or believe their testimony. In many cases, there are strong disagreements between expert witnesses, or expert witnesses and non-expert (lay) witnesses.
For more information on this topic, see our page on Drug Recognition Evalautions and their lack of scientific validity.