ARIDE 1 SMALLLLLLLLLLOfficers with the Benton Police Department participated in a program Monday that trains them to observe, identify, and articulate the signs of impairment related to drugs, alcohol or a combination of both, in order to reduce the number of impaired drivers and impaired driving related traffic collisions. Tara Amuimuia with the Criminal Justice Institute said the ARIDE (Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement) class is a bridge between the standard field sobriety testing class and the Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) class.

“First, the ARIDE class gives officers additional tests other than the standard field sobriety tests to detect impairment other than alcohol,” Amuimuia said. “I think it is very important, especially now with the legalization of medical marijuana. That’s going to have a profound effect on Arkansas road safety. Just because it is legalized, people can still abuse it and drive impaired. ARIDE gives all of these officers another tool to find that impairment and to call a DRE if needed.”

She added, “The other purpose is to an officer a sneak peek into the Drug Recognition Expert program. This will help them know whether they want to pursue that avenue because the DRE program - that’s a very intense training session.”

ARIDE is a 16-hour training course and is taught by DRE instructors. A DRE is a law-enforcement officer trained to recognize impairment in drivers under the influence of drugs other than, or in addition to, alcohol.  In addition, officers learn about medical conditions and other situations that can produce similar signs of impairment. The participating officers learn through the course:

  • Introduction and Overview of Drugs and Highway Safety
  • SFST Update, Review and Proficiency Examination
  • Observations of Eyes and other Sobriety Tests to Detect Alcohol and Drug Impairment
  • Seven Drug Categories
  • Effects of Drug Combinations
  • Pre- and Post-Arrest Procedures

For more information about the ARIDE (Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement), program visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website:

To report suspicious driving and/or accidents, call the Benton Police Department at 501-778-1171 or 501-315-TIPS. Individuals also may send us anonymous information to CRIMES (274637) with the keyword BNPD in the body of the text or go to to leave a tip. A crime tip can also be submitted via the official Benton Police Department app found on ITunes and Google Play.