Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) Program

A Colorado Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) is a law enforcement officer trained to recognize impairment in drivers under the influence of drugs other than, or in addition to, alcohol. The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) coordinates the International Drug Evaluation and Classification (DEC) Program with support from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The Colorado DRE program began in 1987.

As of 2021:

  • Over the course of the entire DRE Program, 719 Colorado law enforcement officers have completed DRE training
  • There are currently 179 active DREs
  • 62 agencies have DREs
  • Of the 179 active DREs, 49 serve with the Colorado State Patrol

DRE of the Year Award

The Colorado DRE program annually recognizes a person with the Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) of the Year award. This award is given to an individual who has made significant contributions to the program.

Recipients include:

  • 2006: Officer Mark Ashby, Thornton Police
  • 2007: Technician John Blea, Denver Police
  • 2008: Lieutenant Jim Williamson, Littleton Police
  • 2009: Chief Brian Kozak, Avon Police
  • 2010: Glenn Davis, Colorado Department of Transportation
  • 2011: Trooper Jerald G. Wolff, Colorado State Patrol
  • 2012: Sergeant Craig Simpson, Colorado Springs Police
  • 2013: Chief Robert Ticer, Avon Police Department
  • 2014: Deputy Mark George, Boulder County Sheriff's Office
  • 2015: Officer Alan Ma, Denver Police
  • 2016: Deputy Jenn Plutt, Park County Sheriff's Office
  • 2017: Officer Kevin Deichsel, Aurora Police Department 
  • 2018:
    • Trooper Dave Copeland, Colorado State Patrol - DRE Instructor of the Year
    • Corporal Nick Hazlett, Colorado State Patrol - DRE Expert of the Year (Rural)
    • Trooper Jerry Sharp, Colorado State Patrol - DRE Expert of the Year (Front Range)
  • 2019:
    • Corporal Nicholas Hazlett, Colorado State Patrol - DRE Instructor of the Year
    • Sergeant Jennifer Plutt, Park County Sheriff's Office - DRE Expert of the Year (Rural)
    • Sergeant Jason Sparks, Colorado State Patrol - DRE Expert of the Year (Front Range)