May 23, 2011
On May 21st, area game wardens held a dual agency training session with Lower Colorado River Authority rangers in Bastrop. The training was held at the Bastrop Fire Department at Tahitian Village.
Region IX game wardens conduct an annual “wet lab” to review and apply Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) techniques. In a controlled environment, volunteer drinkers are weighed and given a known amount of alcoholic beverage. Breath samples are taken and recorded after 3 drinks with each person displaying different levels of impairment.
Test subjects are escorted to a room where officers begin the SFST while recording clues indicating impairment. Halfway through testing, drinkers deliver another breath sample which is recorded. Upon completion of testing, drinkers deliver a final recorded breath sample and fed a good supper while awaiting their designated driver.
Officers are debriefed and each test subject’s recorded breath samples are revealed to ascertain if they would have been arrested based upon the totality of SFST clues. Test results differ from person to person due to varying amounts of alcohol given.
The “wet lab” is one of several training tools game wardens utilize each year to combat drunk driving whether in a vessel or vehicle. Unlike vehicles, it is not against the law to drink while operating a vessel or have open containers. It is illegal to be impaired and/or intoxicated while operating the same.
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