Press Release - 10-04-2019

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Friday, October 4, 2019   

Lisa Koumjian
[email protected]

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

330 Drug Recognition Experts Now Certified Statewide 

The Governor's Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) today recognized 19 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 in Avon, New York. With this graduating class, New York now has 330 certified DREs across the state.

“Drug Recognition Experts are vital to ensuring safety on New York’s roadways,” said GTSC Chair and DMV Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder. “The comprehensive training that these officers go through helps them spot and remove dangerous impaired drivers from our roads. GTSC and DMV proudly support this crucial training and congratulate all of today’s graduates 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 2018 New York 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:

Fall 2019 DRE Graduates
First NameLast NameAffiliation
MarkAndrzejakBuffalo Police Department
DanielBalloniOswego City Police Department
EvanBruckelIrondequoit Police Department
WilliamCanningNew York State Police
AnthonyCaratelliNew York State Police
JamieGockelNew York State Police
JoshuaHillOnondaga County Sheriff's Office
BrianKernTown of Amherst Police Department
TravisLanaGeneseo Police Department
BrianLarkinTown of Macedon Police Department
MatthewLeonardColumbia County Sheriff's Office
MichaelPhillipsLivingston County Sheriff's Office
AnthonyPhillipsWarsaw Police Department
DominicProntiIrondequoit Police Department
DerekRaichelNew York State Police
JaclynSedlacekNew York State Police
ConorTreacyNew York State Police
MauriceWalkerNew York State Police
AshleyWhittyNew York State Police


DREs are utilized by law enforcement 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 56 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. 79 law enforcement officers have completed the extensive training this year.

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

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

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