The Robert F. Borkenstein Course On The Effects Of Drugs On Human Performance And Behavior

The Center for Forensic Science Research & Education will host the 2015 Robert F. Borkenstein Course on the Effects of Drugs on Human Performance at the Mission Palms Hotel & Conference Center in Tempe, AZ.

While matching the atmosphere of Bloomington is difficult, this wonderful venue fits the bill. Tempe Mission Palms, where Midwestern charm meets the warmth of the Southwest, is the only full-service hotel in the heart of Tempe, Arizona with convenient access to Scottsdale and Phoenix. The serenity of the surrounding desert landscape and its rose-colored vistas are reflected in the hotel’s décor and mimicked in its relaxing ambiance. Our friendly staff provides unparalleled service, and is eager to create an unforgettable hospitality experience.

When: September 14 – 18, 2015

Where: Mission Palms Hotel & Conference Center
60 East Fifth Street, Tempe, AZ  85281

Tuition: $1,500.00
Eventbrite - The Robert F. Borkenstein Course on The Effects of Drugs on Human Performance and Behavior

Course Brochure & Schedule coming soon.

We are pleased to welcome back our regular Borkenstein Drug Course faculty, as well as several guest speakers.


The Borkenstein Drug Course covers topics related to the pharmacology of drugs and their effects on psychomotor performance and driving. This program has been growing in popularity since it was started in 2002, and has drawn attendees from more than forty states. We have responded to student feedback on the course content and have added lectures on “Bath Salts” and synthetic cannabinoids on driving performance and field sobriety tests.   The 2015 course will also include an overview of psychometric tests of human factors and abilities that make up the five “domains” of cognitive and psychomotor skills needed for safe driving   In addition the course now features  expanded time for discussion of best practices for analytical laboratories, accreditation and scope of testing.  The class will feature the latest information on practices for scope and sensitivity of testing in DUID cases, surveyed by the National Safety Council.  This course was originally established to provide professional development training for toxicologists and has been grown to recognize and reflect the relationship between the DRE program and the laboratories that support them.  It has also been attended by DRE officers and other highway safety professionals.  Also returning this year is a lecture by DUI defense attorney Todd Landgren on what expert witnesses can expect to face from the defense when testifying in DUID cases.
Drug impaired driving is now being recognized as a major public safety issue worldwide. Drug use among fatally injured drivers in the US is estimated to be around 40-50%, and combined drug and alcohol use is the often overlooked part of the iceberg, as alcohol positive cases are infrequently assessed for drug use.
There are major developments taking place around the world to document and combat drug impaired driving. Just as it did with alcohol impaired driving, Indiana University’s Center for Studies of Law in Action has become a major center for collecting and sharing research and innovative strategies for dealing with this problem. In September 2014, the Center for Studies of Law in Action presents its twelfth symposium on the effects of drugs on human performance and behavior supported by the staff of the Center for Forensic Science Research and Education, a program of the Fredric Rieders Family Renaissance Foundation. This year, the program will revisit the The Chemical Heritage Foundation in historic Philadelphia, PA after its successful first offering there in October 2012.
The program is designed to supplement the training offered by other groups such as SOFT and AAFS, with ideas and strategies for enforcement, and for documenting and trying drug impaired driving cases. The Course is structured to meet the needs of:

  • Analytical toxicologists performing testing for DUID investigations.
  • Toxicologists testifying in court on drug and alcohol impaired driving.
  • Public safety specialists involved in developing policies and statutes to respond to drug impaired driving.

The course is taught using the successful Borkenstein Alcohol Course classroom format that provides excellent opportunities for networking, student/student and student/faculty interaction during the breaks and after-hour’s social functions, and more individual attention to student questions.


In an effort to keep toxicologists, and traffic safety specialists up to date, this course has evolved over the ten years it has been offered. Information addressed in the 2012 course includes:

  • Roadside drug testing surveys using checkpoints, and oral fluid testing
  • Basic principles of pharmacology and relationship to drug effects on behavior and physiology
  • Expected effects from newly emerging designer drugs – “Bath Salts” and incense products
  • On-road driving studies for marijuana, MDMA, and antidepressants
  • Training tools for investigating and documenting drug impairment
  • Approaches to presenting DUID evidence in court
  • Strategies used by the defense for cross examination of state witnesses
  • Updated summaries of effects of major drug classes present in drivers
  • Effects of lorazepam and alprazolam on driving
  • Effective use of Pubmed, Toxline, and on-line forensic databases for literature surveys and case preparation

The Borkenstein Drug Course begins with a brief orientation to the Course by Center Executive Director, Dr. Barry Logan and Borkenstein Course Manager, Mr. Joe Turner.
The schedule will be available from the Center shortly before each class begins.