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Symposium on Traffic Safety May 19-22, 2025

DUI & Traffic Enforcement Breakout Sessions

While we are busy planning the content for 2025, we invite you to review the fantastic lineup we had for the 2024 Symposium on Traffic Safety below! Session categories included DUI/Traffic Enforcement Topics, DRE Topics, Florida Topics, and Program/Leadership Development. Please note that due to circumstances beyond our control, sessions and presenters may change.

  • Chemical Testing and Cannabis (Ryan Hutton)

    - Ryan Hutton, Owner, Extract-ED, LLC

    How is cannabis absorbed into the body over time and when are consumers impaired? Extract-ED conducts green labs where volunteers consume various amounts of cannabis using combustion, edibles, drinks and extracts. During these labs, Extract-ED collects oral fluid and compares these timeline analysis results to Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs). This session visualizes the data and information collected on cannabis consumers, impairment, and performance on these FSTs.

  • Detecting the Impaired Driver in 60 Seconds (Aaron Botts)

    - Corporal Aaron Botts, Denver (CO) Police Department, DUI/DRE Unit

    The SFSTs are an integral tool to detect and arrest impaired drivers; but what if you miss impaired drivers because you never get to them? Phase Two of DWI detection can be improved by asking the right questions in the right way. Interrupting questions that divide the driver's attention are a staple of the Personal Contact phase and this presentation will introduce an effective and proven method to use when contacting drivers. Over a 15-year career with 6 years as a dedicated DUI car and over 1200 impaired driving investigations, Cpl. Botts has taken the typical questions officers have been trained to ask for decades, and put them in a precise order, with new follow up questions. This technique is simple but effective and has allowed him to arrest impaired drivers that would have otherwise gone undetected.

  • Detecting the Impaired Driver: Going Beyond the Routine Traffic Stop (Oscar Lugo & Roman Watkins)

    - Sergeant Oscar Lugo, Belle Isle (FL) Police Department
    - Officer Roman Watkins (University of Central Florida Police Department)

    During this session, both newer and more seasoned officers will learn how to improve their ability to detect impaired drivers and go beyond the routine traffic stop. The instructors will review traffic statutes and case laws, and explain their implementation on traffic stops, with a particular emphasis on detecting drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI detection). Topics covered will include impaired driver detection techniques (Vehicle in Motion) and subtle signs of impairment.

  • Enforcement and Safety Issues of Motor Units in Modern Policing (Chad Hartzell & Randall Miller)

    - Master Corporal Chad Hartzell, Cape Coral (FL) Police Department
    - Officer Randall Miller, Cape Coral (FL) Police Department

    Drawing on their years of experience, MCpl. Hartzell and Ofc. Miller will discuss enforcement techniques and safety concerns that motor officers face during their daily duties and large escorts.

  • HGN Police Testing, The Neuro-Optometric Basis, and the Law (Dr. Leslie Weintraub)

    - Dr. Leslie Weintraub, Board Certified Medical Optometrist, Expert Witness and Case Consultation

    Review of basic neuroanatomy, chemistry and studies relating to the basis of alcohol induced HGN will be discussed. You will learn how to defend yourself during cross-examination and differentiate between other forms of nystagmus. An overview of how alcohol is tied to reduced driving ability. Included also are tips for successful execution of HGN sequence.

  • If It Ain't Written Down, It Didn't Happen... (Vin Petty)

    - Vin Petty, Florida TSRP

    DUI cases are the most heavily litigated cases in the criminal justice system; as such, they require precise investigation and report writing. Often, DUI cases can hinge upon one simple word or phrase authored in a DUI report. While the correct and precise verbiage in a DUI report can lead to quick and efficient prosecution, one simple inaccuracy in that same report can prevent a prosecutor from successful prosecution. This session will discuss the importance of accurate and thorough DUI report-writing using examples of simple report-writing errors that have led to motions and eventual charge reductions. By highlighting common report-writing errors, this session will allow officers to better investigate and document DUI cases, resulting in strong cases that a prosecutor will be happy to proceed upon.

  • Intoxication vs. Medical Conditions: How to Differentiate Abnormal Eye Movements (Karl Citek)

    - Dr. Karl Citek, OD, PhD, Professor of Optometry, Pacific University College of Optometry

    This session will explain and describe how abnormal eye responses caused by intoxication differ in appearance and effect from those associated with medical and environmental conditions. Abnormal findings discussed will include disruptions of smooth pursuits and saccades, difficulties with convergence, induced nystagmus and saccadic intrusions, eyelid tremors, and rebound dilation.

  • Let's Talk Nystagmus! No, Not HGN...The Other Ones! (Robert Campbell)

    - Robert Campbell, Apopka (FL) Police Department

    This session will focus on the other types of nystagmus outside of Horizontal or Vertical Gaze Nystagmus. This presentation will be led by a DRE Officer to help other officers understand and, most importantly, see the other types of nystagmus through visual aids and discussion in layman terms. This will allow the attending officers to see how the other types of nystagmus differ from HGN, so they may be more confident in court when presented with an opposing argument.

  • Mythbusters: Taking a Close Look at Modern SFST Research (Kyle Clark)

    - Kyle Clark, Road Safety Program, International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)

    Contemporary research of the effectiveness of field sobriety tests (FST) has called into question the value these roadside tests offer to police. This session will examine the methodologies used in recent research conducted by Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts General Hospital, and UCSD to assess the correlation of the scientific studies to real world outcomes and to better prepare the DUI investigator to address these challenges in court.

  • Principles of Cross Examination (Dave Kopenhaver & J.J. Evans)

    - Dave Kopenhaver, President, Integrated Impaired Driving Solutions
    - J.J. Evans, Attorney

    This block of instruction covers different types of cross examination and what attorneys hope to achieve during cross examination. This session will improve your ability to testify in both impaired driving and crash reconstruction cases

  • Surviving the Cross Examination While Winning the Minds of the Jury (Mark Eastty)

    - Sergeant Mark Eastty, Pinellas County (FL) Sheriff's Office

    You will fine tune your DUI investigations from traffic stop to verdict. You will learn how to professionally handle defense attorney tactics during cross-examination and offer tips on testifying for both the prosecution and the defense. Learn how to evaluate the jury and win their minds through testifying.

  • Testifying in Court...You Said What?! Strategies for Effective Testimony (Ashley Schluck & Deena Ryerson)

    - TSRP Ashley Schluck, Wyoming Highway Safety
    - TSRP Deena Ryerson, Oregon Department of Justice

    The backbone of a prosecutor’s case is most often the testimony of officers in court. However, testifying can be nerve racking due to lack of experience, lack of confidence, or lack of training to name a few. Learn tips on how to testify to strengthen your case and persuade a judge and jury. We will look at examples from actual cases to illustrate some do's and don'ts of testifying in a DUI case. You will also watch live examples putting into practice the tips you will learn from this session. Once you are able to testify in a more descriptive and persuasive manner, you will be more confident and comfortable while testifying. This can lead to more successful prosecutions.

  • A Traffic Stop: The Story Waiting to Be Told (Joseph Keil)

    - Deputy Sheriff Joseph Keil (Ret.), Operation R.U.S.H.

    Joel Rifkin, Randy Kraft, and Ted Bundy were all serial killers caught during traffic stops! This session will integrate the traffic stopping sequence in a manner which will give officers a tactical advantage while being able to not only observe the driver but pick up on criminal behaviors and the signs and symptoms of substance abuse. We will also look at the 11 legal ways to gain access to the vehicle while determining the direction the traffic stop is going to proceed.

  • Truth: As Far as the Eye Can See (Jennifer Knudsen & Garett Berman)

    - TSRP Jennifer Knudsen, Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor, Colorado District Attorneys' Council
    - Garett Berman, Executive Director, Florida Prosecuting Attorney Association

    With today’s ever-changing policies and laws for law enforcement, we will be presenting best practices for body worn cameras (BWC). Through trial and error, we will discuss the pros and cons when it comes to BWC highlighting its use in impaired and intoxicated driving cases. BWC also have limitations as well. You will find out how to mitigate these limitations.

  • The EDR and DRE: Using Event Data Recorder to Illustrate Impaired Driving (Jay Riggen)

    - Sergeant Jay Riggen, Special Operations Unit, Vermont State Police

    In serious bodily injury and fatal crash events, the crash reconstructionist and drug recognition expert subject matters work in tandem. While the former investigates the physical dynamics of the collision, the latter investigates the human dynamics to probe operator sobriety. However, too often the data of one is not interfaced with the data of the other and critical parts of the "complete why" behind the story remain undiscovered and untold. This leaves gaps in prosecution, surviving family understanding, and in the development of well-informed legislation on actual crash causation. This session explores using the Event Data Recorder to illustrate and tie together known impaired driving variables discovered during the DRE drug influence evaluation. Of interest to both subject matters and those looking to add tools to their investigation toolkit, this workshop digs into enhanced impaired driving recognition variables set against a backdrop of real crash incidents as examples.

  • Let's Get Physiological: Drugs and the Body (Brad Owens)

    - Brad Owens, Georgia State SFST Coordinator, Georgia Public Safety Training Center

    The session will serve as a review of physiology, pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics for DREs and DUI Enforcement Officers. The topics include sections that were covered in DRE school, with some additional information and explanations as to how drugs actually affect a driver's body from a layman's perspective. The ADME process is covered as the effects of drugs are presented from the perspective of: How drugs get into the body; work in and on the body; and get out of the body.

  • Misdemeanor Murder: Conducting a Post-Incident Review (Eric Sweden & Joshua Legan)

    - Lieutenant Eric Sweden (Ret.), Raleigh (NC) Police Department
    - Trooper Joshua Legan, North Carolina Highway Patrol

    Many DRE cases aren't the result of the DRE being the stopping officer, they are called when the impairment seen isn't consistent with the alcohol concentration obtained by the arresting LEO. Regardless, the DRE has the ability to conduct an evaluation on a subject and form an opinion as to impairment and a drug category causing that impairment. What happens when there is no subject to evaluate? This session will discuss what evidence may be available to conduct a post-incident review of an impaired driving case. The investigation you do may be the difference between a misdemeanor death and a felony murder.

  • The Perils of Addiction: Understanding Physiology from a DRE's Perspective (Joseph Keil)

    - Deputy Sheriff Joseph Keil (Ret.), Operation R.U.S.H.

    The core to DRE is understanding physiology and how drugs act within the body. Addiction does not discriminate. Age, race, creed, color or profession does not prevent you from falling victim to substance abuse. From cops to attorneys to professional athletes to movie stars, no one is exempt. We will delve into the 11 major systems of the human body and look at how each individual system reacts to substance.

  • So a DRE Gets Called Out to Do an Eval, What the #&@%! (Joe Abrusci)

    - Joe Abrusci, Eastern Region DEC Program Manager, International Association of Chiefs of Police

    This session will look at issues in an actual DRE case and the successes and challenges faced. Presented by the IACP DECP Eastern Project Manager, Joe Abrusci, you will gain some insight from an experienced DRE on what can create issues for DREs and how to bring the case to a successful conclusion.

  • Pharmacology and Behavioral Effects of Dissociative Anesthetics (Matt Myers & Michael Blute)

    - Matt Myers, Assistant Chief, Peachtree City (GA) Police Department
    - Mike Blute, Georgia Public Safety Training Center

    This presentation will provide a basic understanding of the pharmacological mechanisms through which dissociative anesthetic drugs exert their effects. Subsequently, a review of case studies from actual incidents will be used to illustrate the behaviors associated with dissociative anesthetic use.

  • DRE Field Certification Evaluations

    - Florida Drug Recognition Experts

    Certified Florida DREs can take advantage of this session to perform evaluations in front an instructor for recertification and complete the proper paperwork or turn in recertification forms. In addition, veteran DRE instructors will be available to answer your questions.

  • Florida DUI Case Law Update (Ben Fox)

    - Ben Fox, Asst. Misdemeanor Division Chief, Training Attorney, Brevard County (FL) State Attorney's Office, 18th Circuit

    Always a popular session, Mr. Fox will give you a comprehensive update on the DUI case law in Florida and what you need to know as a law enforcement officer. Pertinent cases that have surfaced and their effects upon procedures and prosecution will be discussed.

  • Florida Legislative Update (Garett Berman)

    - Garett M. Berman, Esq., Executive Director, Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association

    Garett Berman will discuss the new traffic laws passed during Florida’s recent legislative session and provide an update on the ones that did not pass.

  • Florida's Medical Marijuana Program and Office of Medical Marijuana Use (Carmen Dixon & Todd Schimpf)

    - Carmon Dixon, Nurse Consultant, Florida Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU)
    - Todd Schimpf, Communications Manager, Florida Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU)

    This presentation provides an in-depth overview of Florida’s Medical Marijuana Use Program, including updates to the program, law enforcements interaction with the Medical Marijuana Use Registry, and a look at the Office of Medical Marijuana Use.

  • Bulletproofing Your Lesson Plan (Allan Kolak)

    - Captain Allan Kolak, Cape Coral (FL) Police Department

    A Lesson Plan is the architecture of your training stratagem about what you intend the students to learn. There are requirements through CALEA and/or state accreditation standards about Lesson Plans and for training that must be met. There are some basics to every Lesson Plan along with some essentials that should be included. This will help reduce liability, increase continuity of training, and decrease potential injuries. This session will provide you with the resources and knowledge to develop a lesson plan that covers protocols for proper training evolutions.

  • The Job Isn't Dead (Ryan Hutton)

    - Ryan Hutton, Owner, Extract-ED, LLC

    Employee morale seems to be at an all-time low in law enforcement. What's causing this and what actions can we take to fix it? As employee turnover continues trending upwards, all while recruiting and applications fall, employers find themselves in an anomalous situation. The first step in solving the manpower crises is to identify the top issues law enforcement is facing. Addressing these issues help increase morale, ultimately breaking the cycle of mistrust, lack of purpose, and lack of recognition employees and administration often feel.

    This presentation uses up-to-date research from Harvard Business School, MIT Sloan School of Management, and other tactics to drive morale upward and increase officer motivation, naturally reducing the number of resignations. Fewer resignations can decrease the urgency and pressure to recruit new employees. Changing the culture will help build an agency that not only outlasts us but also sets up future leaders for success.

  • Working Professionally with DUI Victims and Survivors (Kristen Allen)

    - Kristen Allen, Affiliate Executive Director, Mothers Against Drunk Driving

    This session will provide an overview of the MADD Florida victim services program, to include a basic understanding of how trauma affects victims of DUI related offenses, and how to work with drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors with professionalism and compassion.

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