Picayune hosted DUI training

Published 10:31 pm Monday, March 23, 2009

Ten officers from some south Mississippi police departments participated in DUI training last week, held at Picayune’s Mississippi Mall.

The training focused on how to effectively use the standardized field sobriety test.

Those ten officers came from various police departments in south Mississippi, such as Picayune, Poplarville, Bay St. Louis, Summit and Lumberton.

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Lt. Chad Dorn with the Picayune Police Department said the training took place last week from Tuesday to Thursday and included training on occupant traffic protection and field sobriety testing, which covered how to detect the clues a person who has been driving under the influence exudes.

The standardized field sobriety test focuses on a person’s gaze, walk and balance to determine if they are operating a vehicle under the influence. Dorn said the officers at the training were taught how to administer the test by observing the driver’s eye movement, walk and how well they stand on one leg, among other factors.

After the class room training, which included videos and mock court trials, officers were also expected to hone their skills in 30 real life situations, called wet tests, in the next 60 days utilizing volunteers who had been drinking, Dorn said.

Written and practical tests are also administered to the officers to test the skills they received in the training. Dorn said each officer needs to score 80 percent or better on the tests to pass.

Dorn said he has taken the same course, but with emphasis on training other officers, making him qualified to teach the course. Though Dorn is a certified instructor he was assisting the Mississippi Law Enforcement Liaison Office, which was putting on the training.