February 5, 2016
Wake Forest Police Officer Adam Carlson recently completed advanced training as a certified Drug Recognition Expert (DRE).
As a DRE officer, Officer Carlson can determine which drug or combination of drugs cause an individual’s impairment. The DRE is trained to make these determinations by observing behaviors and performing non-invasive medical tests such as blood pressure, pulse, muscle tone, eye functions and body temperature. DRE officers are also trained to recognize impairments from diabetes, stroke and other medical conditions as well as drug and alcohol usage.
Officer Carlson earned DRE certification after successfully completing all phases of the Drug Evaluation and Classification Program’s training requirements as established by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Consisting of two phases, DRE school is considered extremely demanding and intense. Phase one is a two-week course that includes a minimum of 80 hours of classroom instruction and study. At the conclusion of the two-week classroom instruction, candidate officers are required to conduct 12 hands-on evaluations under the direct supervision of a DRE instructor. The opinion of those officers as to the subject’s impairment must be confirmed by toxicology. Candidates must also pass a comprehensive exam designed by the IACP and NHTSA.
A 10-year veteran with the Wake Forest Police Department, Senior Officer Carlson joins a select group of fewer than 200 officers across the State of North Carolina who have attained DRE certification.
Drawing on his DRE training and experience, Officer Carlson also completed training and certification as an Instructor in the Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST) battery. This set of tests is the basis for evaluating individuals who are suspected of being impaired by alcohol or other drugs.
The SFST instructor training is also administered by the IACP and NHTSA.