Press Release - 03-28-2019

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, March 28, 2019

Contact:
Tim O’Brien             
[email protected] 

Darren Boysen
[email protected]

 

GTSC, DMV AND STATEWIDE LAW ENFORCEMENT ANNOUNCE LATEST CLASS OF NEW YORK’S DRUG RECOGNITION EXPERTS

Program Strengthens State’s Efforts to Prevent Drugged Driving on New York Roadways

303 Drug Recognition Experts Now Certified Statewide 

In 2017 NY’s DREs Ranked 2nd in Country for Number of Evaluations of Drug-Impaired Driving

 

The Governor's Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) today recognized 18 law enforcement officers from across New York State who completed extensive training and are now nationally-certified Drug Recognition Experts (DREs). A graduation ceremony honoring the officers was held today at the Donald F. Kane Auditorium in Mineola, New York. With this graduating class, New York now has 303 certified DREs across the state.

 

“Drug Recognition Experts are a critical tool for ensuring safety on New York’s roads as the rate of drug-impaired driving has increased in recent years,” said Acting GTSC Chair and DMV Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder. “DREs’ extensive training helps them spot impaired drivers and remove them from our roads. GTSC and DMV proudly support this vital training and congratulate all of today’s officers on this significant accomplishment.”

 

New York’s DREs are working hard to put their training to use. According to a report from the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), in 2017 New York ranked 8th in the country for the number of certified DREs in a state, but ranked 2nd in the country for the number of evaluations conducted for drug-impaired driving, behind only California.

 

Below is a list of graduates and their affiliation:

Capogna

Carlo

Nassau County Police Department

Cornish

Matthew

New York State Police

Czarnecki

Erik

New York State Police

Delgado

David

New York State Police

Hajec

Timothy

Menands Police Department

Kowalski

Thomas

New York State Police

Lennon

Amanda

New York State Police

Lewis

Stephen

New York City Police Department

Long

Jason

New York State Police

Merz

Michael

New York State Police

Mickle

Andrew

New York State Police

Milano

Philip

Troy Police Department

Miller

Michael

Town of Ulster Police Department

Moore

Laurie

Albany County Sheriff's Office

Phillips

Keith

Southampton Town Police Department

Schneider

Carl

New York State Police

Skerpon

Andrew

New York State Police

Tiefenthaler

Dylan

Tioga County Sheriff's Office

 

According to data compiled by the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research (ITSMR), the number of fatal crashes involving a drug-impaired driver increased by more than 11 percent between 2013 and 2017 in New York.  The total number of personal injury crashes in the state involving a drug-impaired driver also rose, increasing by more than 22 percent between 2013 and 2017. These increases highlight the importance of DREs, who are trained to better detect, identify and remove drug-impaired drivers from New York State roadways.

 

DREs are utilized by law enforcement officials when a driver appears to be impaired but police have ruled out alcohol as the cause or sole cause of impairment. A DRE receives extensive training that has been approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the IACP. The training allows officers to observe and document signs and indicators of impairment within each of seven drug categories including illicit and prescription drugs. DREs can make arrests and remove impaired drivers from New York State roadways regardless of the drug or drug combinations that are causing impairment. 

 

As part of their training, DRE graduates must successfully complete a three-part program prior to being certified.  The first two phases include a two-day introductory course, followed by 72 hours of classroom instruction and a final exam. In the third phase, participants are required to observe and identify three out of the seven drug categories and complete an additional final knowledge exam to successfully comply with national DRE regulations. After successfully completing the training, all DRE officers are certified for two years and are expected to meet certain requirements to be considered for re-certification at the end of this period.

 

Officers selected to participate in the DRE program must have a history of being proactive within their community and be well-trained in DWI detection. Only a handful of the large number of DRE applicants are selected to attend the training, which is sponsored by the GTSC and New York State STOP-DWI Foundation. So far this year, 42 law enforcement officers have completed the training.

 

Learn more about the DRE program on the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee website.

For more information about GTSC, visit safeny.ny.gov, or follow the GTSC conversation at Facebook and Twitter.

 

To learn more about the NYS DMV, visit dmv.ny.gov, or follow the DMV conversation online at Facebook and Twitter.

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