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04/18/2022 09:40 AM

Thirteen new Drug Recognition Experts enhance law enforcement agencies

The North Dakota Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) program has added 13 graduates to law enforcement agencies across the state just in time for the “420 marijuana holiday.”

April 20, more commonly known as “420” has become synonymous with increased marijuana use among users. DRE law enforcement officers are specially trained in recognizing if a driver is under the influence of drugs, like marijuana. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 56% of drivers involved in serious injury and fatal crashes in 2020 tested positive for at least one drug.

“A DRE has received the highest training in the nation on detecting an impaired driver. These officers are now better prepared to identify substances other than alcohol in a suspected impaired driver, removing them from the road and making North Dakota roads safer,” said DRE state coordinator, Trooper Tarek Chase.  

To coincide with the “420” date, the North Dakota Highway Patrol is partnering with regional law enforcement agencies for a 420 high-visibility enforcement event from April 18-20, 2022.

High-visibility enforcement for traffic safety is one element of a collaborative effort to help meet the state’s goal of zero motor vehicle fatalities and serious injuries on North Dakota roads. Alcohol and drug-related crashes are 100% preventable. Many lives would be saved in North Dakota each year if every driver consistently makes the choice to always drive sober or to designate a sober driver.

Learn more about traffic safety initiatives at VisionZero.ND.gov or join the conversation on the Vision Zero ND Facebook or Twitter page.