Press Release - 11-3-2021

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Wednesday, November 3, 2021



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

345 Drug Recognition Experts Now Certified Statewide

The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) recognized 14 law enforcement officers from across New York State who recently completed extensive training and are now nationally certified Drug Recognition Experts (DREs). With this graduating class, New York now has 345 certified DREs across the state.

  “GTSC is proud to support this critical training, and I congratulate all of the officers on this significant accomplishment,” said GTSC Chair and DMV Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder. “New York’s Drug Recognition Experts are critical in helping to remove impaired drivers off our roads.”

New York’s DREs are using their extensive training across the state. According to a report from the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), in 2020 New York ranked second 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:

AlibozekBenjaminNew York State Police
BlanchardNicholausSuffolk County Sheriff's Office
ConfortiMichaelNew York City Police Department
FuscoTravisNew York State Police
HughesChristianJefferson County Sheriff’s Office
KetchamSamanthaSuffolk County Sheriff's Office
LegottiAnthonySuffolk County Police Department
MullerStephenNew York State Police
NolteMichaelCity of Peekskill
PetersJenniferNew York State Police
RossRyanNew York State Police
SandyCodyCortland County Sheriff's Office
SaulJohnNew York City Police Department
Walsh-SteinesJeremiahTown of Tonawanda Police


DREs are utilized by law enforcement when a driver appears to be impaired and 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 instruction and a final exam. In the third phase, participants are required to observe and identify 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.

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

About GTSC
Combined with education and enforcement campaigns, GTSC coordinates various traffic safety activities throughout the year and supports ongoing initiatives to improve pedestrian, motorcycle, and bicycle safety. The GTSC also sponsors critical training for law enforcement, provides resources for teen drivers and their parents, and promotes seatbelt use statewide.

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

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