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Ohio Drug Recognition Expert Program

The Ohio Drug Recognition Expert Program is a traffic safety program that focuses on the detection, apprehension, and adjudication of drug-impaired drivers. A drug recognition expert (DRE) is a law enforcement officer who is highly trained to recognize impairment of drivers under the influence of drugs other than or in addition to alcohol.

  • It is a federally-funded program through the Ohio Traffic Safety Office. The training and the expenses associated with the Ohio DRE Program are provided at no cost to your agency.
  • The program is administrated by the International Association of Chiefs of Police/National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and has members from many different Ohio departments. It is not an Ohio State Highway Patrol Program.

DRE School Training Overview

The only cost to the agency is for the candidate’s hourly wages during the training.

  • The two weeks of classroom training are at no cost to the candidate for lodging and food. (Phase I and II)
  • The third week of training is out of state. The candidate must pay costs associated with certification and will be reimbursed by the DRE Program. (Phase III)
    • The DRE Program can not reimburse an agency directly. Reimbursement arrangements are contracted between the candidate and the State of Ohio.
    • Reimbursement payment is received within 30 days after returning from field certifications.

Phase I: Drug Recognition Expert Pre-School (16 Hours)

Candidates are selected to attend an intensive two-day course designed to evaluate their ability to become a highly-trained professional in drug impaired-driving detection. The candidate will be required to demonstrate SFST proficiency with strict compliance and pass a written exam with an 80% or better before continuing to Phase II.

Phase II: Drug Recognition Expert School (56 Hours)

Candidates will receive detailed instruction in the techniques of drug influence evaluation examinations as well as in physiology, the effect of drugs, and legal considerations. Upon completion of this phase of training, the candidate must pass a written exam with an 80% or better before proceeding to phase III.

Phase III: Drug Recognition Expert Field Certification (40-60 Hours)

During phase III (field certifications) the candidate must conduct 12 evaluations. Each candidate, whether serving as an evaluator, observer, or recorder, shall independently identify the category(ies) of drugs affecting the subject to a DRE instructor. The candidate must maintain a 75% toxicological confirmation rate and complete a comprehensive final knowledge examination.

*You will need a laptop with Microsoft Word to type the narrative reports.

DRE School Training Dates

Dates are subject to change.


Oct. 23 - Nov. 2, 2023, at OSHP Academy; Nov.13-19, 2023, field certifications out of state


Jan. 22 - Feb. 1, 2024, at OSHP Academy; Feb. 19-25, 2024, field certifications out of state

Oct. 21 - 31, 2024, at OSHP Academy; Nov. 6-12, 2024, field certifications out of state


Jan. 27 - Feb. 6, 2025, at OSHP Academy; Feb. 17-23, 2025, field certifications out of state

Oct. 20 - 30, 2025, at OSHP Academy; Nov. 5-11, 2025, field certifications out of state

Requirements to Apply

Ohio will require the DRE applicants to meet all of the following requirements:

  1. Be a paid law enforcement officer, at least part time;
  2. Commissioned as a peace officer or State Trooper as defined by Ohio Revised Code;
  3. Have a minimum of two (2) years of law enforcement experience;
  4. Be in “good standing” with their agency;
  5. Not currently on a probationary status (new hire) with their agency;
  6. Assigned to patrol and/or traffic enforcement duties. Those not assigned to patrol or traffic duties may be considered for DRE training on a case by case basis;
  7. Successfully completed the IACP/NHTSA approved Standard Field Sobriety Testing Training (SFST);
  8. Successfully completed the IACP/NHTSA approved ARIDE Training;
  9. Must have experience and knowledge of Ohio’s OVI laws and arrest procedures
  10. Must submit two (2) adjudicated OVI reports; (When submitting reports only the narrative is needed, please redact all SSN information)
  11. Must submit the approval of their Commanding Officer;
  12. Complete DRE Selection Subcommittee Selection Application form.

This training is federally funded and provided for the benefit of public sector law enforcement, prosecutors, and toxicologists. Therefore, individuals who could benefit their private part-time work with the training are ineligible e.g. a private practice defense attorney is ineligible.