Status Report for Drug Impairment Recognition

Since 2005 up to an including 2012 the Fredericton Police Force has trained approximately 24 members in various forms of Standardized Field Sobriety and Drug Recognition Awareness Officers. This included four Drug Recognition Experts( DRE) and four Drug Evaluation and Classification Experts. 

According to our records recertification for DRE was offered in 2010 and 2012.  For various reasons the numbers of certified Drug Recognition and Drug Evaluation Experts have dwindled including but not limited to: promotions to non-operational roles, termination and/or suspensions, promotions, retirements and funding not specifically identified and/or provided. 

In a Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) Discussion Paper dated February 8, 2017 it was noted to best arm police agencies with the knowledge, skills, certification and tools to address drug impaired driving the CACP recommended:

1)    Training for officers to conduct a series of tests to determine if there are reasonable grounds to conduct further tests;
2)    Legislative changes to support Oral Fluid Screening Devices  to detect presence of a drug;
3)    Standardized Field Sobriety Tests – for roadside screening to determine if further tests are required;
4)    Trained and Accredited DRE officers using the 12-step process as provided currently through the RCMP in Canada;
5)    Urine, oral fluid or blood test required to support the DRE observations;
6)    Training is to be made available in Canada to increase opportunities for training, to train to our standards and to manage costs.

The Fredericton Police Force recognizes the importance of enforcing impaired driving legislation and educating both its members and the public. The Fredericton Police Force will continue to pursue training opportunities as we anticipate both legislative changes and technological applications. 

Standardized Field Sobriety Test training will be provided to all front line officers as soon as possible to bolster those numbers.  Investment in certification for DRE will be discussed in context of provincial solutions anticipated by 2018.