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Bartow deputies complete drug recognition expert training

November 26, 2018--11:41 a.m.


Impaired drivers are responsible for the deaths of nearly 50 people a day and almost 18,000 people each year. Drug recognition is a growing field in law enforcement and has demonstrated its effectiveness as a means of identifying and prosecuting drug-impaired drivers.

A properly trained DRE can successfully identify drug impairment and accurately determine the category of drugs causing impairment.

In October, Deputy Corbett Tomsovic and Deputy Philip Abernathy from the Bartow County Sheriff’s Office H.E.A.T. Unit (Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic) were sent to Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) training funded by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.

Deputies Tomsovic and Abernathy completed the very intensive 72-hour academic portion of the class at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Forsyth.

The class teaches the seven categories of drugs as classified by the Drug Evaluation and Classification Program as well as observable signs and symptoms associated with each category.

They also learned the normal ranges for human vital signs, eye indicators, and responses.

They were trained in the proper administration and documentation of the DRE 12 step drug influence evaluation.

Upon successful completion of the intensive classroom portion, the officer’s traveled to Jacksonville Florida for the Field Certification workshop.

They performed the 12 step evaluation process on actual suspected drug-impaired persons to improve their proficiency
in the evaluation process and learned to accurately predict which drug category was causing impairment.

The Final Knowledge Exam tasked the officers in a narrative format to articulate a working knowledge of the evaluation process, the four effects seen during polydrug use and the proper documentation of a Drug Influence Report.

This course totaled 160 hours of specialized training.

Sheriff Millsap states “we are extremely proud of their accomplishments. This specific training adds to our dedication of keeping our roadways safe”.