The goal of the International Drug Evaluation & Classification Program (DEC) program is to assist police officers in identifying drivers who are under the influence of drugs. Using a standardized protocol, an appropriately trained police officer can successfully identify drug impairment and accurately determine the category of drugs causing such impairment. Originating with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in 1979, the DEC program operates under the guidance and direction of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and is supported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Commonly known as the Drug Recognition Expert program (DRE), today all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, and the United Kingdom participate in the program.
To enhance participation in the DRE program and to improve its oversight and monitoring of the program, the Institute for Traffic Safety Management & Research (ITSMR) developed an electronic data entry, reporting and management system. To date, ITSMR has developed and implemented a comprehensive system that captures data on the police officers who complete the DRE training and data on the drug evaluations conducted by these DREs. The system has two primary components, a web-based application and a tablet application, that can be used by DREs in the field to complete and submit their evaluations, narrative reports and corresponding toxicology results into the DRE database developed by ITSMR. The tablet application provides real-time data entry by the DRE and streamlines the entire process to improve the efficiency of the 12-step evaluation. The application allows the DRE to collect all fields required from the DEC “facesheet”, including the ability to draw images associated with the divided attention tests. A clean, professional facesheet is printed that mirrors the DEC standardized facesheet. DREs utilizing the system do not have to re-enter evaluation data in the National DRE database. All data collected during the evaluation is transferred to the National DRE database by ITSMR via a secure file transfer. The application is tailored to meet each respective State’s data fields to further enhance efficiency and to improve data integrity.
ITSMR is continuing to enhance the system through the development of two additional applications. One is a robust reporting/query application that can be used to generate standardized and/or ad hoc reports by the DRE program management. The other application is an announcement, scheduling & e-registration application which will allow officers to register for DRE-related classes on-line.
The DRE Data Entry & Management System
The DRE Data Entry & Management System (DRE Data System) is a comprehensive data collection and reporting tool designed to improve the management and monitoring of a state’s Drug Recognition Expert program. Developed by the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research (ITSMR), this tool serves as a statewide data tracking system for the DRE program, providing in-depth information and data analyses in the area of drug impaired driving. The DRE Data System has three primary components:
- Tablet & web applications for real time data collection
- State specific database containing evaluation and toxicology data as well as narrative reports.
- Reporting & query tool
Tablet & Web Applications
The tablet application allows the DREs to capture data in real time as they conduct their 12-step evaluation of the subject. The application captures all of the data that has been traditionally collected on the Drug Influence Evaluation (DIE) paper form. Additional information is collected in a number of areas, including crash involvement, driver license information and medical marijuana cardholder information. The application also collects data from the toxicology reports that are returned by the forensic labs. The evaluation and toxicology data is securely transmitted into a state specific DRE database that is maintained by ITSMR. Narrative reports are also securely transmitted and stored in PDF format. To complement the tablet application, a web-based application is also available.
Key Features of the Tablet Application
- Evaluation data can be entered offline if WiFi is not available
- Provides PDF of DEC standardized facesheets
- Allows for management/supervisor review of evaluation before it is submitted to the database
- Includes MobileIron security
- CJIS compliant
The database captures all of the data fields contained in the tablet and web applications, including the data from both the evaluation and toxicology reports. As a result, any of the data fields captured on the application can be queried through the database. Data are also extracted on a regular basis and uploaded to the national DRE database to meet federal reporting requirements.
Reporting & Query Tool
The DRE Data System uses an analytic tool developed by ITSMR to query the database and conduct analyses. The results of the analyses can be displayed in both tabular and graphical formats. The analytic tool is also used to design and generate standardized and custom reports to meet the needs of the state’s DRE program management staff.
The tablet application is platform independent, making it compatible on tablet devices with Android, Windows and iOS Operating Systems.
Designed to be Customized
The System is designed so that it can easily be customized under a license agreement between ITSMR (represented by The Research Foundation for SUNY) and your state. Services provided under the license agreement include:
- Customization of DRE tablet & web applications
- Customization of DRE database
- Customization of query tool & reports
- MobileIron security software
- Onsite training
- Documentation (User guide & quick reference sheet)
- Maintenance & technical support services
- Submission of evaluation & toxicology data to the national DRE database
DRE Data Entry & Management System Security Statement
The DRE Data Entry & Management System application is delivered on an industry standard Java Web stack. The applications are physically located on servers in a secure access facility at the University at Albany Data Center in Albany, NY. Our data center partners provide redundant power and network services and conduct vulnerability assessments on a regular basis. ITSMR owns the servers and is responsible for provisioning, monitoring, and managing the servers, and for providing support to system users.
Our platform was designed and optimized by us specifically to host the DRE applications and has redundancy built in. The applications themselves run on a separate front-end hardware node than that on which the data is stored. Hardware failure of the compute node is recovered automatically. Application data is stored on a RAID 10 (mirrored and striped) storage node. Each state’s data is encrypted and stored within a separate and unique database. No state has access to another state’s data.
Access to the data centers is limited to authorized personnel only, as verified by biometric identity verification measures. Physical security measures include: on-premises security guards, closed circuit video monitoring, and additional intrusion protection measures. Within the data center, all ITSMR equipment is stored in dedicated cabinets.
The ITSMR support team maintains an account on all systems and applications for the purposes of maintenance and support. This support team accesses hosted applications and data only for purposes of application health monitoring and performing system or application maintenance, and upon customer request via our support system. Within ITSMR, only authorized employees have access to application data. Authentication is done via individual passphrase-protected public keys, rather than passwords, and the servers only accept incoming SSH connections from ITSMR and internal data center locations. The system is designed to allow application data to be accessible only with appropriate credentials, such that one user cannot access another user’s data without explicit knowledge of that other customers’ login information. End users are responsible for maintaining the security of their own login information.
Application database backups for the DRE Data Entry & Management System occur on the following frequencies: On-site backups are performed daily and retained for seven days; backups are then replicated to the cloud and retained. All backup data is encrypted.
ITSMR understands the importance of ensuring the privacy of your personally identifiable information. All data is encrypted at all times when not being actively processed, both in flight and at rest. No information or data are shared or distributed to unauthorized users. All requests for data are fully vetted through State DRE Coordinators.