If you follow me on instagram you would have gotten a behind the scenes look at me getting intoxicated for a good cause. You saw me when my blood alcohol content was .08, in Texas that is per se intoxicated. I was at the Plano Police Department’s Training Center and my bartenders were policemen. I repeat: the police were giving me liquor with the pure intent to make sure I was intoxicated. It wasn’t just fun it was a BLAST.
Twice a year the police department runs what they call the Advanced DWI Training. The prosecutors affectionately call it the Drink & Blow. Each police officer, when they go through training with the State’s Academy is trained in DWI Investigations; at Plano they go through another training, the Advanced Training.
Here’s how it works:
Prosecutors, from our office and sometimes surrounding counties, are picked up by Plano PD and taken to the training center, where we are weighed (super fun) and then the amount of alcohol to get us above a .08 is roughly calculated. That amount is then divided by four and we drink one drink every 30 minutes. During this drinking period the prosecutors and the “bartenders” are sitting around a big table talking and getting to know each other. It’s quite interesting to see how people’s actions and demeanor change from sober to intoxicated. For example: I had two officers explain to me in detail what and how this shooting training ‘game’ that was in the room worked. I mean I was SUPER interested in it.
At the end of the two hours we check our blood alcohol contents on a portable breath test and the SFST (standardized field sobriety tests) instructors preform the HGN (eye) test on us. My PBT was at a .07 and the Sargent who tested my eyes could only see 3 maybe 4. Another prosecutor and I were given instructions to take another drink, in this case a shot. We were then led out to meet our maker. Just kidding, the trainees.
Paired off we sat in cars in the parking lot (no keys in the car because OPERATING a vehicle was intoxicated is DWI) and we went through a pretend “traffic stop” and subsequent DWI investigation. The officers preform the HGN test, Walk & Turn test, and the One Leg Stand test. At the end of the tests we check our alcohol content again with the PBT.
My final scores:
HGN: 6 clues out of 6 clues
W&T: 0 clues out of 8 clues
OLS: 0 clues out of 4 clues
Do you see how crazy that is? I was intoxicated, legally intoxicated, but I showed zero clues on the walk & turn and on the one leg stand. It’s also good to point out that I showed all 6 clues on the HGN test because you cannot fake it! I wish I had gotten to tape my tests but it might have gone something like this one… it gets me every time! Just to be clear I did not operate a motor vehicle after this. The police department drove us home. I can only imagine what my neighbors thought… Also I want yall to know, that after one hour I was at a .05 and I wouldn’t have driven and I had to work for that .09, I mean really work for it. I had to drink quite a bit.
The next day the trainee officers come to the courthouse and we question them, as both prosecution and defense, on the reports they wrote the day before on our tests/investigation. I’m not going to lie, flirting with the dark side aka the defense, was fun.
The entire process gives each side a plethora of knowledge. The officers get hands on training where they know no one is going to get hurt and they are given corrections by their advanced training officers. We, the prosecutors, get the knowledge of exactly how a DWI investigation goes down in real time and we see how the officers have to react in these situations. Win win.