By Carolyn Cockroft, guest blogger, IACP Program Manager, Impaired Driving Initiatives
With more than 730 attendees from around the US and Canada, attendance at this year’s Drug Recognition Expert Section’s Annual Training Conference on Drugs, Alcohol, and Impaired Driving was exceptional. Held in Seattle from August 16-18, the 18th Annual Training Conference was co-hosted by the generosity of Chief John Batiste and the Washington State Patrol as well as the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. Including prosecutors, toxicologists, medical professionals and academics, and highway safety advocates, this conference centered on the dangers of impaired driving.
Since 1995, this annual training conference has kept DREs and other health and safety professionals up-to-date on drug trends, legal issues, and innovative technology.
In addition to general sessions featuring the latest research and initiatives, daily workshops addressed a variety of topics, including:
- medical Marijuana and driving
- new trends in drugs (such as narcotic analgesics and other new opiates, “Spice”, “Bath Salts”)
- successful DWI prosecutions
- multi-agency cooperation efforts
- HGN and other eye movements during impairment
- medical conditions that mimic impairment (medical rule-outs)
- collision scene management
- best practices in training and certification
- prosecution and toxicology updates.
Chief Batiste, the general chair of the State & Provincial Police Division, provided welcoming remarks on behalf of the IACP governing board. In addition, Bart R. Johnson addressed the conference for the first time since his appointment as IACP executive director. Gil Kerlikowske, of the White House Office on National Drug Control Policy, paid a special visit on the second day to address the attendees.
For more information about the DRE Program and for information on next year’s conference, please visit http://www.decp.org/