I spent last Tuesday night in custody of the CMPD with a blood alcohol level of .08. No, I wasn’t drinking and driving – I was at the CMPD Police Academy acting as a test dummy in training officers how to administer sobriety tests ... kinda like jury duty.
You can find the full story in my column in this week's CL, "My night in the cop shop"... but you can find the incriminating photos here. Pun intended.
The bartender — or mad scientist, rather — who was precisely pouring 50ml of liquor per drink. Perhaps bartenders should start using measuring cups to pour drinks... food (or drink) for thought.
About halfway through the study, 1.5 hours — 4 cocktails and 200ml of liquor later — they had me blow into the "Intoximeter" ... and I only blew a .04! Yet I was legally drunk in my mind at that point. So drunk in fact that I thought the cop ordering me to "blow like I've never blown before" was comical.
And then the real fun began ... the testing. These are the tests the cops administer if they pull over someone they suspect to be drinking and driving. At first they did the "Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus" in which they look for six clues to intoxication (3 in each eye). They look for maximum deviation and onset of nystagmus (whatever that means).
And then they made me stand on one foot... too bad they didn't capture me on camera doing the yoga "tree" pose that I did everytime a cop said, "And now I'm going to ask you to stand on one foot." While one cop laughed at me, others yelled at me, "Put your foot down ma'am."
"What ... you told me to stand on one foot!" But they demonstrate each test for you, and the point is to mimic them exactly. I had to count 1-1,000 ... 2-1,000 ... I told one cop "I prefer 1,Mississippi ... 2,Mississippi" ... again, he didn't find that very funny ...
The walk and turn test ... but to me it was the walk, kick-ball-change, turn test. I also threw in some other dance moves in there. They made me look down at my feet as I walked, because I kept spotting pretending I was walking a tightroper. Apparently I thought it was comedy hour at the cop shop ... what can I say, I was legally intoxicated. Yet sober enough to hold my balance, count, and be a smart ass.
Ummm ... look what I found on my camera while getting my sober ride home in a squad vehicle. Someone got a little trigger-happy on the zoom button. I kinda feel violated here. I just feel lucky I didn't have to get frisked. Yikes. What is this suppose to be my mugshot?
After all 14 training officers administered their tests, they surveyed the results ... note: ARR symbolizes arrest - and only two of the officers said they'd have arrested me based on my physical tests, without my BAC being a factor. If they think you're drunk ... they'll take you down to station to be tested with the "Intoximeter." I was shocked that the majority of the cops would've let me go. But I guess we really do have more confidence and dance better when we're drunk. On my way out I turned to all the cops sitting at their classrooms tables and said, "You just got punk'd!" Although ... at the end of the night my "Intoximeter" only read .06. The bartender called me a lightweight: "You're what a buck-20 ... that's lightweight."
This is the waiver I had to sign before starting the study ... note the date of birth on it. ;)
And here’s my own personal disclaimer: The purpose of this study is to train officers in administering sobriety tests. So seeing as how it was a test, I was deliberately testing the officers by purposely trying to fool them into thinking I was sober via my applied coordination. No, this does not make me a nark … but I will go ahead and tell you that the cops aren’t messing around when it comes to drinking and driving. They have new tests, new check points, and no tolerance. As they should … if you drink and drive you deserve to be arrested. That’s worse than going out with the H1N1 virus and sneezing in people’s faces. Cason-Point: Don’t drink and drive … or else you may find yourself getting a sobering ride in the back of the cop car. But not in the same capacity as I did on the way home from this study. You will go straight to jail without passing Go, and without collecting $100.