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Field sobriety test makes drivers, officers aware of intoxication

Sept. 26, 1996

By Josh Jacquot

Lariat Reporter

Wednesday afternoon was a little out of the ordinary for one University student.

Chris Stevens, a Houston junior and a Waco 100 radio personality, participated in the Waco Police Department's Standardized Field Sobriety Test.

'People need to realize that you're really not the best judge of it (sobriety),' said Stevens, who chose to use his radio name for this article, after beginning the test.

He also said during testing that he did not feel confident in his ability to drive a car.

'A lot of people take for granted they can drive home, but you never know if you're legal or not,' Chris said.

The Standardized Field Sobriety Test consists of a group of seven individuals that agree ahead of time to drink a prescribed amount according to their weight and estimated tolerance, said Officer Joe Neal of the Waco Police Department. Participants are given different amounts to drink to ensure that when they undergo testing officers will be evaluating people with both legal and illegal blood alcohol levels.

Blood alcohol levels are observed three times during the test. Participants are tested before they start drinking, once in the middle of the test and one time before they are sent to see officers.

A varied control group gives test administrators the ability to assess officers performance.

Officers from the University, Waco, Woodway, Bellmead and Hewitt attended the training session.

Chief Jim Doak of the Baylor Department of Public Safety, said two University officers participated and that almost all of the officers with the department have been through previous sessions.

Neal said this training was educational for officers.

'This training is to teach officers how to interpret

the tests to gauge if a person is at a level of intoxication where they would want to take them to jail,' Neal said.

Chris Stevens, a Houston junior and Waco 100 radio personality, participates in a Waco police department sobriety test.

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