The Kutztown Borough Police Department was recently looking for three volunteers to assist in training their officers in administering Standardized Field Sobriety Tests during suspected DUI traffic stops, in a more realistic fashion.
In order to be an eligible volunteer, you need to fit the following criteria:
- Be in good health between the ages of 25 and 40 with no history of drug or alcohol abuse
- The volunteers must be available on April 4 between 2:30 and 7 p.m.
- Clean criminal history
- Be willing to drink hard liquor to the point of inebriation
- Sign a waiver releasing the Borough of Kutztown of any liability
- Have a sober/responsible party take care and control after the training
Although the alcohol is free, there will not be any other form of compensation.
The police are hoping to get the volunteers to different levels of intoxication so that they can see the effects of varying levels of sobriety.
When Police Chief Craig Summers initially put out a call out for day drinkers (using Facebook) to help them out, they were immediately bombarded by potential volunteers. The police department began taking calls at 8:00 in the morning, and by 8:30 they had to pst the following message on Facebook:
THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR INTEREST IN HELPING US OUT! WE HAVE HAD AN OVERWHELMING RESPONSE FOR THIS AND AT THIS POINT WE HAVE ENOUGH VOLUNTEERS FOR THIS TRAINING! THOSE WHO ARE SELECTED WILL BE CONTACTED BY CHIEF SUMMERS!
I’m not sure why the message was sent in all CAPS – was the Chief angry about something? Was he yelling at people to stop calling the Department?
Anyway, is there anybody surprised by such a response?
A chance to get drunk, for free, right in front of the local police?
Kutztown is a college town, so it’s good they made the age cutoff 25; if they kept it at 21, the number of people responding from the local University would have overwhelmed the phone lines.
There are so many questions I have:
What was the breakdown of all the people who volunteered? My guess is that the callers were overwhelmingly male and under the age of 35.
I would also like to find out how they decided on the actual volunteers; with only three volunteers, they certainly aren’t getting a diverse sample. It seems like it would be beneficial to get a mix of old and young; male and female; various heights and weights.
Will the police just take a volunteer’s word that he or she does not have a drinking problem?
Are any of the volunteers taking time off from work just so they can participate?
I’d also love to be there when the Field Sobriety Tests take place.
What if one of the volunteers refuses to participate after he or she has become inebriated? After all, they may not be thinking correctly and may have forgotten the reason why they are there.
Will the police get angry if some of the volunteers cop an attitude, even though the police are kind of to blame if the volunteers start insulting them?
What if a volunteer passes the tests? Would they be allowed to drive home?
I wish all the participants, both the police and the volunteers, good luck.
And the next time you or your organization are looking for some free help, you now know what it takes:
Liquor will have them signing up quicker,
And all that booze will lead to queues…
*image from Judnich Law