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October 27, 2014

10-43: Be Advised…
with Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne Editor in Chief

Cool new police tech tracks eyes to assess drug, alcohol impairment
The newest DRE device from Ocular Data Systems is on display at IACP 2014

Richard Studdard — A retired Los Angeles Police Department sergeant who is largely responsible for the development of drug recognition procedures — is still very much in the DRE (drug recognition expert) game. At IACP 2014 I visited with Studdard, and discovered that his company, Ocular Data Systems, has just come out with a cutting edge technology device to assess and record a subject’s eyes for alcohol or other drug impairment.

It’s called the DAX™, and it’s an evolution of the company’s early impairment recognition and recording device. It’s handheld, lightweight, and although it the device looks a little space age, it’s really actually quite simple. It is comprised of a video screen, an infrared video camera, an integrated pair of pen lights aimed at each eye, and a molded physical interface where the subject’s forehead, nose and eyes would go — this piece also includes some measuring devices also recorded on the video.
Ocular’s DAX™ device assesses and records a subject’s eyes for alcohol or other drug impairment (Photo by Doug Wyllie, PoliceOne)
As the officer tests the eye movements and responses of a subject, he or she simply puts the device on the subject’s face, that FST is recorded on video which can then be played back as evidence when seeking a conviction.

The device may also offer benefit as an excellent training tool for young officers who have not yet had enough exposure to real subjects impaired by drugs and alcohol to be true experts at Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN).

The device is priced within range of budget-challenged departments at around $5,000. Early customers include California Highway Patrol, Arizona Highway Patrol, NYPD, and the State of Colorado.

If you’re attending IACP, you can visit them at booth #2485. If not, you can get further information at their website.

About the author
Doug Wyllie is Editor in Chief of PoliceOne, responsible for setting the editorial direction of the website and managing the planned editorial features by our roster of expert writers. An award-winning columnist — he is the 2014 Western Publishing Association “Maggie Award” winner in the category of Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column — Doug has authored more than 800 feature articles and tactical tips on a wide range of topics and trends that affect the law enforcement community. Doug is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers’ Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA). Even in his “spare” time, he is active in his support for the law enforcement community, contributing his time and talents toward police-related charitable events as well as participating in force-on-force training, search-and-rescue training, and other scenario-based training designed to prepare cops for the fight they face every day on the street.