Two dozen law officers are in Sioux City this week getting what’s called Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement Training.
The Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau’s Todd Olmstead, is conducting the two days of sessions “They already know how to do the standardized field sobriety tests through their academy training and through their field training and through their experience on the street,” Olmstead says. “This is an advanced class that we want to make sure that they are completely proficient in their standardized field sobriety tests.”
They also add another element. “We introduce them to drug impaired driving, where they don’t get a lot of that at the academy,” Olmstead says. They have volunteers drinkers who help them run the training.
“We does them to certain amounts of alcohol and we have the students run them through the standardized field sobriety tests and they’re required to make decisions based on the standardized field sobriety tests and the other things they’ve learned in class today whether they would find them impaired or not. And then they estimate their blood alcohol content,” according to Olmstead.
He says the impaired driver training is important because those are seen now nearly as frequently as drunk drivers. “Whether it be the elicit drug methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana, hallucinogens, marijuana, LSD, things like that,” Olmstead says. “But also people abuse their prescription medications a lot of time too and take for a valid medical reason and become impaired that way.” The training is taking place at the Woodbury County Sheriff’s Department Prairie Hills Center.
(Photo and story by Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)