The Maine Bureau of Highway Safety and the Maine Criminal Justice Academy recently recognized several Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) for their continued work in removing impaired drivers from the streets of Maine. A drug recognition expert is a law enforcement officer that is specially trained to recognize impairment in drivers under the influence of drugs other than, or in addition to, alcohol. Drug Recognition Evaluations are performed by DREs when a person shows signs of significant impairment, but a breath alcohol test indicates low or no alcohol in a person’s system. DREs can identify various types of impairment and determine which substances are causing the impairment as well as testifying to that effect in court. These highly trained DREs are an integral part to ensuring that those who are driving while impaired are removed from the streets.
As part of an annual recognition program, the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety recognized the Maine DRE of the Year, as well as two DRE Lifetime Achievement Awards. In addition, AAA of Northern New England provided awards to recognize those DREs who conducted more than 10 DRE evaluations over the course of 2018.
Maine State Police Specialist Seth Allen was awarded “DRE of the Year” for 2018 for conducting the most DRE evaluations in 2018 (32) and his overall contributions to the program. Specialist Allen started with the Maine State Police in 2012 and attended the DRE school in 2015. In 2018, Allen surpassed the 100 DRE enforcement evaluation milestone. He has multiple Instructor certifications in impaired driving enforcement and completed the DRE instructor school in 2018. Although he has had a fairly brief career as a DRE, Allen has accomplished much. After completing the DRE Course Managers training in 2018, he was chosen to fill the role as Course Coordinator for the 2019 DRE school. Allen has been crucial in supporting our new DRE students by assisting with or coordinating certification training events in Maine, Maryland, and Arizona.
In 2018, Allen was promoted to Specialist with the Maine State Police assigned to the Traffic Division, specifically Impaired Driving. He is the liaison with the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety and continues to teach drug impaired driver training statewide. He manages several special enforcement teams that target impaired drivers and responds to call outs for drug evaluations. Allen is always available to assist with a project and volunteers his time graciously.
Two lifetime achievement awards were issued to Robert Libby of the South Portland Police Department and Sgt. Edwin Don Finnegan (retired) of the Rockland Police Department.
Libby began working for the South Portland Police Department in 1990 and attended the DRE school in 1996. He has multiple instructor certifications in impaired driving enforcement, including DRE Instructor, Standardized Field Sobriety Training Instructor, and Breath Testing Device Instructor. Libby has been involved in some capacity in every DRE school since becoming an instructor in 1999 and has played a crucial role in supporting new DREs and coordination certification in training events in Cumberland County.
Finnegan started with the Rockland Police Department in 1992 and attended the DRE school in 1999. He completed the requirements for DRE Instructor in 2002 and has completed over 200 DRE enforcement evaluations to date. Finnegan has multiple Instructor certifications in impaired driving enforcement, including, DRE Instructor, Standardized Field Sobriety Training Instructor and Breath Testing Device Instructor. Finnegan has been a crucial part of the development of the Drug Impaired Driving Programs in Maine over the years and now is co-managing the programs at MCJA. He has been a lead instructor in most of our DRE and DRE instructor schools including an assignment as DRE Course Coordinator. Finnegan has represented Maine at the National DRE Conference, State Coordinators meeting on several occasions. He plays a vital role in supporting new DREs and statewide training initiatives and is creating new ways to improve the Drug Evaluation and Classification programs, so they are sustainable for the future.
Officer Ryan Dinsmore serves with the Waterville Police Department and was recently recognized by the Maine Criminal Justice Academy (MCJA) for outstanding work in the Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) program for the year 2018. Officer Dinsmore is one of more than 100 Drug Recognition Experts statewide and was recognized as one of the two top producers for drug impaired driving evaluations during 2018. MCJA Impaired Driving Program Manager Jim Lyman made the presentation during the annual DRE training day held at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy on 8-29-2019. Also present for the recognition was Jamie Dionne, Impaired Driving Coordinator for the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety.
Officer Dinsmore is a 2018 graduate of the DRE School. In recognition of his efforts and his commitment to the DRE program, he will be offered an opportunity to represent Maine at the International Association of Chiefs of Police Annual Training Conference on Drugs, Alcohol and Impaired Driving Conference in 2020, in San Antonio, Texas.
Top Producers for Drug Recognition Experts in 2018
Benjamin Boutilier, Aroostook County Sheriff’s Office, 12 evaluations;
Judson Cake, Bar Harbor Police Department, 12 evaluations;
Nathan Desrosiers, Maine State Police, 12 evaluations;
Rachel Horning, Westbrook Police Department, 12 evaluations;
Garrett Olsen, Bath Police Department, 12 evaluations;
Kevin Sager, South Portland Police Department, 12 evaluations;
Zachary Carey, Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office, 15 evaluations;
Dennis Lowe, Westbrook Police Department, 15 evaluations;
Garrett Booth, Maine State Police, 16 evaluations;
Michael Hinkley, Gorham Police Department, 16 evaluations;
Tyler Maloon, Maine State Police, 16 evaluations;
Ryan Dinsmore, Waterville Police Department, 18 evaluations;
Seth Allen, Maine State Police, 32 evaluations.
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