Helms School of Government


Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice (PhD)


Gregory Koehle


drug evaluation and classification program, drug recognition experts, drug influence evaluation


Social and Behavioral Sciences


Over the past several decades, the fatality rates in traffic crashes related to drug-impaired driving have increased significantly. Specialized law enforcement officers are currently being deployed to help reduce the number of drug-related traffic crash fatalities and identify drugged impaired drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) developed the drug evaluation and classification program (DECP) to certify law enforcement officers as drug recognition experts (DREs). An evaluation and validation study was conducted on the DECP in Florida. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the DECP in Florida to determine the accuracy rates of DREs and determine which core set of measurements (signs and symptoms) from the drug influence evaluation (DIE) face sheets correspond to each of the seven drug categories, and to determine if any core set of measurements from the DIEs are identified with the inaccuracies of DRE opinions. This study is a quantitative cross-sectional descriptive and predictive examination of Florida's DECP. The population for this study comprised the enforcement DIEs and toxicological results for 2019 in the state of Florida with a target sample size being calculated for a logistic regression analysis. This study analyzed the DECP accuracy rates in Florida during 2019. The study also completed a binary logistic regression analysis to determine the core set of measurements (signs and symptoms) to predict the drug categories determined by toxicology results and the core set of measurements (signs and symptoms) to predict the drug categories inaccurately determined by the DREs.