Governor's Traffic Safety Committee

GTSC
NEWS RELEASE
 

Contact:
Joe Morrissey
Joseph.Morrissey@dmv.ny.gov
Casey McNulty
Casey.McNulty@dmv.ny.gov

 

NYSDMV
Office of Communications
6 Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12228

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 20, 2015

GOVERNOR'S TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMITTEE CONGRATULATES THE LATEST
GRADUATING CLASS OF DRUG RECOGNITION EXPERTS

More than 200 Drug Recognition Experts Certified across New York

The Governor's Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) today congratulated and recognized 19 law enforcement officers from across New York State who recently completed extensive training and are now nationally certified as Drug Recognition Experts (DRE). A graduation ceremony honoring all 19 graduates took place on Wednesday, October 14 in Batavia. With this graduating class of 19, New York now has more than 200 certified Drug Recognition Experts across the state.

A DRE receives extensive training that allows them to observe and document signs and indicators of impairment. The officers learn the signs and symptoms of impairment associated with not just alcoholic beverages, but with each of the seven drug categories including illicit and prescription drugs. This training allows DREs to make arrests and remove impaired drivers from New York State roadways regardless of the drug or drug combinations that are causing impairment. DREs are often utilized when a driver appears to be impaired, but police have ruled out alcoholic beverage as the cause of impairment.

"I was honored to be there as the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee welcomed the 19 newest DREs to this highly important program," said GTSC Assistant Commissioner Chuck DeWeese. "Highway safety is much more than cracking down on drunk drivers, which is why the DRE program is such a valuable tool for law enforcement. These men and women put their training to work in the field. They observe, they listen and they act in the best interest of New York's citizens. I congratulate and welcome this year's graduates into the DRE family and look forward to great things from them in the future."

"Becoming a DRE is something that I've wanted to do for a long time, and it's the culmination of something I enjoy doing," said New York State Trooper John Gray of Troop T, Syracuse. "I'm very active on patrol and from doing this job a while, I've wanted to have the tools to best document impairments. I've watched DREs in action for many years, and this is a chance for me to help out my fellow law enforcement officers. I just became certified as a DRE and have already put my training to work in a recent traffic stop, which led to an arrest following a hit and run crash. The great thing about the DRE program is it gives me the tools to help other officers for many years to come."

Drug impaired driving is a serious issue across the nation and New York State is no exception. Drug impaired driving is responsible for 18 percent of all fatal motor vehicle crashes in New York State. Drug-related personal injury crashes have also been on an upward trend and have increased 21 percent between 2007 and 2012, illustrating the importance of having police officers certified as DREs on patrol to better detect, identify, and remove drug impaired drivers from New York State roadways.

Officers selected to attend the DRE program must have a history of being proactive within their community and be well-versed in DWI detection. Only a handful of the large number of DRE applicants are selected to attend the extensive training which is paid for by the GTSC.

Below is a list of graduates and their affiliation:

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