Colorado Acquires 24 New Drug Recognition Experts to Aid in Drugged Driving Enforcement Efforts

November 16, 2015

More drug recognition experts join CO law enforcement agencies

More drug recognition experts become part of CO law enforcement agencies

Last week, 18 law enforcement agencies throughout the state of Colorado gained new drug recognition experts (DRE), bolstering officials’ ongoing efforts to target and arrest impaired drivers.

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), the 24 new DREs, who graduated from a 9-day training program on November 12th, are now certified to “recognize impairment in drivers under the influence of drugs other than, or in addition to, alcohol.”

This brings the total number of active DREs in Colorado to 227 (though more than 500 officers have reportedly completed CDOT’s DRE training program).

Commenting on the newly graduated DREs, Carol Gould, Highway Safety Manager for CDOT, stated:

The officers who are graduating today are to be commended for their commitment to traffic safety and making our roads safer from impaired drivers… With over 30 percent of deaths on our roadways attributed to impaired drivers, Drug Recognition Experts are critical to reducing that number and ultimately reaching our goal of zero deaths.

Similarly, Neal Tyler, Executive Director of the Central Mountain Training Foundation, explained that:

The students in this class have endured a very intensive two weeks of training and have completed a series of tests and evaluations covering everything from drug categories to identifying subjects using drug combinations… CDOT and their instructors have done an exceptional job in preparing these officers to identify any kind of drug impairment.

DREs & Drugged Driving Charges: What Drivers Should Know

Training more law enforcement officers to be DREs has been a top priority for safety officials ever since the legalization of marijuana in Colorado. When it comes to drugged driving charges and cases, here is what all drivers should understand:

  • The vast majority of police officers in Colorado are not DREs, meaning that they are not necessarily qualified to determine whether motorists are impaired by drugs.
  • There are not currently separate drugged driving charges in Colorado. Although some state legislators are planning to present a bill next year to try to enact separate drugged driving charges in the state, at this point, motorists accused of drugged driving can face the same DUI charges as drivers accused of drunk driving.
  • Drugged driving cases can be far more difficult to prosecute than traditional DUI cases, as establishing drug impairment can be more challenging for prosecutors. This can make drugged driving cases easier to defend (in some situations), especially with the help of an experienced attorney.

Contact a Denver & Boulder DUI Lawyer at the Griffin Law Firm

Have you been charged with a misdemeanor or felony DUI offense? If so, you can turn to the Denver & Boulder DUI lawyer at Griffin Law Firm for experienced help and the best possible defense. With more than 18 years’ experience in the criminal justice system, our attorney understands the complexities of the system, the challenges different defendants can face and the best ways of overcoming these challenges to bring criminal cases to successful resolutions.

To receive a complete evaluation of your case, along with professional advice regarding your best options, contact us by calling (303) 280-1070 or by emailing us using the contact form at the top of this page.

Categories: DUI, DUI News