Deputy first in Sheriff’s Office to receive Drug Recognition Expert title

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Indian River County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeffrey Saputo recently completed advanced training as a drug recognition expert.

Deputy Saputo is the first member of the Sheriff’s Office to complete this training which he recently utilized when an impaired driver was stopped for failing to maintain a single lane. When the blood alcohol content of the driver was measured, the suspect was well under the legal limit. Deputy Saputo was able to use his DRE training to show that the driver’s normal faculties were further impaired from combining prescription medication with the alcohol.

Deputy Saputo is a 12-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office and has spent time in corrections and in uniform patrol. Deputy Saputo is current assigned to the traffic unit.

The deputy’s training will be a vital resource in the future as law enforcement continues to be faced with ever changing drug trends the abuse and misuse of prescription medication.

He has successfully completed all phases of the Drug Evaluation and Classification Program’s training requirements for certification as established by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

A drug recognition expert or DRE, and sometimes referred to as a drug recognition evaluator, is trained to recognize impairment in drivers under the influence of drugs other than, or in addition to, alcohol.

The DRE also carefully measures and records vital signs and makes precise observations of the person’s automatic responses and reactions. The DRE also administers carefully designed psychophysical tests to evaluate the person’s judgment, information processing ability, coordination and various other characteristics.

The DRE will systematically consider everything about the person that could indicate the influence of drugs.

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