CDOT graduates 15 officers and troopers from drug recognition program

Traffic Safety News

DRE School 2019

On October 31, 2019,  15 new Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) graduated from a training program that provides law enforcement agencies additional capacity to identify and arrest drivers under the influence of drugs, including cannabis. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) administers the training, which included officers from 14 agencies throughout the state.

Today marks the beginning of the Halloween DUI enforcement period, which ends Monday and includes 90 law enforcement agencies across the state. Drivers impaired by alcohol, cannabis or other drugs can be arrested. Last year almost 400 drivers were arrested during the Halloween enforcement period.

“CDOT is committed to stopping all incidents of impaired driving in Colorado,” said Shoshana Lew, executive director of CDOT.  “However, for those individuals who choose to ignore the law and drive under the influence of alcohol, drugs or alcohol and drugs these highly trained experts are ready to apprehend and remove these dangerous drivers from our roadways.”

The officers graduating from the program are:

  • Shawn Billings - Adams County Sheriff's Office
  • Balmore Herrera - Avon Police Department
  • Eric Cos-Y-Leon - Brighton Police Department
  • Nathan Trujillo - Broomfield Police Department
  • Lauren Turpin - Colorado Parks and Wildlife
  • Jessica Bates - Colorado Springs Police Department
  • Nathan Hardy - Lakewood Police Department
  • Kristopher Kuba - Colorado State Patrol
  • Anthony Glanton - Colorado State Patrol
  • Andrew Duarte - Denver Police Department
  • Thomas Flannery - El Paso County Sheriff's Office
  • Greg Hachtel - Thornton Police Department
  • Lance Schul - Westminster Police Department
  • James Beaudry - Westminster Police Department
  • Dylan Maddalena - Windsor Police Department

The Colorado DRE program was founded in 1987. The program trains peace officers to detect and articulate the signs, symptoms and indicia of drugs other than alcohol in subjects arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or other offenses. Colorado’s ending prohibition on cannabis makes these drug experts more valuable resource to an agency than ever before. The two-week program includes a series of tests and evaluations covering drug categories, identifying subjects using drug combinations, and more.

There are currently 226 DREs at 79 law enforcement agencies across Colorado. To become a Colorado DRE candidate, a Colorado peace officer must have support from the agency’s Chief or Sheriff to attend the entire training and successfully complete the approved Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST) and the classroom format Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE).

Over 30 percent of deaths on Colorado roadways can be attributed to impaired drivers.