Press Release - 5-25-2022

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

369 Drug Recognition Experts Now Certified Statewide

B-roll and Soundbites of New York’s Drug Recognition Experts Training Can Be Found Here


The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) today recognized 18 law enforcement officers from across New York State who last week completed extensive training and are now nationally certified Drug Recognition Experts (DREs). With this graduating class, New York now has 369 certified DREs across the state. 

“The officers who have completed this extensive training are wholeheartedly committed to making New York’s roads safer and I congratulate them on this special achievement,” said GTSC Chair and DMV Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder. “New York will continue to proudly support this important training because Drug Recognition Experts are critical in helping to get impaired drivers off the road.”

Below is a list of graduates and their affiliations:

Drug Recognition Experts and Their Affiliations
First NameLast NameAffiliation
TylerAmoMonroe County Sheriff's Office
EricCorsonLewiston Police Department
MichaelDitondoNew York State Police
AlecEdwardsNew York State Police
JacobFishCheektowaga Police Department
EdwardHellingSUNY Buffalo State College University Police
MatthewHinzNew York State Police
SamanthaJonesNiagara County Sheriff's Office
AndrewKowalskiOrchard Park Police Department
GeraldLudwigMonroe County Sheriff's Office
ThomasMillerAmsterdam Police Department
TimothyMurrayNew York State Police
NicholasRossNiagara County Sheriff's Office
CoreySpechtEast Aurora Police Department
BryanWarrenCity of North Tonawanda Police Department
AleksanderWojciechowiczDepew Police Department
BrendaYaegerTioga County Sheriff's Office
AngelZapataNew York State 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 International Association of Chiefs of Police (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.    

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