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Citizens academy: Week 8
May 7, 2013 - Jill Gosche
Tonight's class focused on impaired driving, and Officer Jake DeMonte, the department's canine handler, was our instructor.
We learned about three types of standardized field sobriety tests used to detect impaired driving.
One is a horizontal gaze nystagmus, which involves making the suspected drunk driver follow a pen's movement with his or her eyes. Another is a walk and turn test, where the driver is asked to walk heel-to-toe down a line. Third is the one leg stand. The driver attempts to stand on one foot and not lose his or her balance.
After the interesting lesson, we got to witness law enforcement officers administer the tests to two men who had been drinking. It was easy to spot the very signs we had been taught earlier in the evening.
What impressed me was DeMonte's ability to nearly perfectly predict the blood alcohol content during the exercise.
I am appreciative of those officers who make it a priority to catch impaired drivers. It's impossible to know how many lives they have saved by arresting impaired drivers; their efforts should be commended.