A Missouri sheriff’s office received mind-blowing responses after putting out a call for alcohol drinkers to help update officers’ training with field sobriety tests.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office stated that it will require three to four casual drinkers each day from Tuesday to Thursday to take part in its “wet lab.” The program, which the department claimed is not brand new, aims to be “fun and exciting” for participants while enabling cops to earn a certification in Standardized Field Sobriety Testing.
Participants were given alcohol and told to mingle in a room away from law enforcement. After about two hours, the drinkers entered a training area and underwent a series of field sobriety tests administered by different officers.
In order to determine the participants’ level of intoxication, the officers requested those who they suspected of being above the limit to submit a breath sample. Participants were taken home by police officers or another sober driver after the program was over.
According to the agency, the program has long been a requirement for law enforcement certification, although most participants come from internal communications. This year, the event was held during the day, which made it harder to schedule and finally forced officers to solicit volunteers.
Prospective volunteers had to get in touch with the department in order to be screened and approved to participate in the program. The department received more than enough volunteer interest to cover numerous backup plans if needed, according to the sheriff’s office.
The JCSO stated that, “Some people handle alcohol well, and others not so much. This is a fun experience, but it’s also a professional environment where officers are being evaluated by trained professionals.”
Participants were offered wine, beer or liquor. The department joked that it would not be providing “Pappy Van Winkle” alcohol but said “cheap wine” and “rail liquor” would not be served, adding that the volunteers are appreciated more than that.
According to the department, taxpayer funds were not used to purchase the alcohol for the participants in the program.
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Also, on the basis of choosing those that are fit to participate in the program, the department said that people with alcohol-related arrests, pending criminal cases, or who are on prescription medication(s) that cannot mix with alcohol were not allowed to participate.
All volunteers are required to have normal balance with no standing or walking limitations, according to the department.