This section covers material dealing with the observation and detection of impaired drivers both prior to, and during a traffic stop or other activity involving law enforcement.
Saturation patrols involve law enforcement deploying additional police officers to targeted roadways during select time periods to detect and apprehend impaired drivers.
Sobriety checkpoints are police stops, or checkpoints, where officers are set up on a roadway to randomly stop vehicles to check for impaired drivers. These are usually set up during times when impaired driving is more likely to occur, such as holiday weekends.
The Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) is a battery of 3 tests performed during a traffic stop in order to determine if a driver is impaired by alcohol or drugs. The 3 tests that make up the SFST are the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN), the walk-and-turn, and the one-leg stand tests. Developed in the 1970s, these tests are scientifically validated for alcohol, and are admissible as evidence in court.
The Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) Evaluation is a standardized and systematic 12 step process performed by an officer with specialized training to determine if a driver is under the influence of drugs. Officers with this specialized training can distinguish individuals under the influence of alcohol, other drugs, combinations of alcohol and other drugs, and injury/illness. The DRE process is scientifically validated, and admissible as evidence in most courts.
Passive alcohol sensors (PAS) are small electronic devices, usually built into police flashlights or clipboards that can detect alcohol in the ambient air of a vehicle. The sensors are quick, objective, and provide another source of detection to the officer which may aid in the identification of alcohol-impaired drivers.
Hardcore alcohol-impaired drivers are those individuals who have one or more previous impaired driving offense, or have a BAC of 0.15 mg/dL or more when arrested for DUI.