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Officers converge on Augusta for DUI training

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More than 40 police officers from 18 area agencies came to Augusta on Thursday for an intensive daylong training session on DUI enforcement.

Todd Hayes, with the Prosecuting Attorneys Council of Georgia, instructs officers on the latest case law in DUI prosecutions.  STEVE CRAWFORD/STAFF
STEVE CRAWFORD/STAFF
Todd Hayes, with the Prosecuting Attorneys Council of Georgia, instructs officers on the latest case law in DUI prosecutions.

Officers were provided information on topics ranging from field sobriety tests to case law to effective courtroom testimony.

Richmond County sheriff’s Sgt. Danny Whitehead, who heads the sheriff’s DUI Task Force, said the training was extremely helpful for all the officers, many of whom encounter impaired drivers every day.

“To make a successful DUI case, there are a lot of steps involved,” he said, explaining that the session reinforced training and gave officers new information on best practices in making arrests and assisting prosecutors in getting a conviction.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Center for Statistics and Analysis, Georgia had 1,284 traffic fatalities in 2009. About 26 percent were alcohol-related.

The free training was funded with a grant from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and conducted by the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia, according to Lt. Lewis Blanchard, of the Taliaferro County Sheriff’s Office, which was co-host of the event with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

The instruction was held at Blanchard’s business, the Foundation Club on Azalea Drive.

“Our goal is to save lives through education and enforcement,” Blanchard said. “We also wish to ensure that our area officers have all of the training needed to effect proper traffic stops and remove impaired drivers from our roadways.”

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GiantsAllDay
9060
Points
GiantsAllDay 12/06/12 - 08:01 pm
2
3
DUI lawyer

If there is a DUI lawyer out there, please comment. When is it a good idea to participate in a field sobriety test? I have heard that no one is legally required to take such a test and that there are no drivers license penalties for refusing a field sobriety test. Is there ever a situation where a police officer is trying to HELP a driver by asking him for a field sobriety test?

Farmboy
902
Points
Farmboy 12/06/12 - 08:19 pm
6
1
This is so easy to avoid it's unreal...

The only thing you have to do, THE ONLY THING YOU WILL EVER HAVE TO DO, is STAY OUT OF THE CAR IF YOU HAVE BEEN DRINKING. That's it. No more. Stay at home if you want to drink. Call a cab. Get a hotel room. Whatever you do, just stay out of the car and you will never have a problem. It's the easiest thing in the world to avoid.

GiantsAllDay
9060
Points
GiantsAllDay 12/06/12 - 08:51 pm
5
2
No arguement with farmboy

No arguement with farmboy whatsoever. Wise advice. I'm just asking a legal question that someone who has been admitted to the bar may be able to answer.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 12/06/12 - 10:40 pm
4
2
The Top Headline teaser reads

"Law officers get DUI training"

Personally I don't want them to be trained on how to drive under the influence.
;-)

GiantsAllDay
9060
Points
GiantsAllDay 12/06/12 - 10:48 pm
3
3
Open curtain

My guess is 70-75% of them already know.

itsanotherday1
40055
Points
itsanotherday1 12/07/12 - 12:35 am
8
3
@ Farmboy

Bullfiddle. There is a LEGAL amount of alcohol you can consume and operate a vehicle. The question becomes at what point are you impaired to an extent to pose a danger. Don't start the "any impairment" bull either considering that studies show that texting and phone use poses a danger equal too or greater than someone at the legal limit.

The issue is getting the dangerous drivers off the road regardless of the cause of their impairment. This is why officers patrolling and observing are much more effective at catching erratic drivers than random checkpoints for sobriety.
As for the question; the less you say to the cops the better. They are trained to trap you. That is their job; if I were a LEO, I would too.

GiantsAllDay
9060
Points
GiantsAllDay 12/07/12 - 12:42 am
4
4
Itsanotherday1

I'm inclined to agree with you. Here's a video of a law professor at the univ of VA school of law. It's rather long 42 mins but most interesting

http://youtube.com/watch?v=_YbrrL-8aSc

fatboyhog
1800
Points
fatboyhog 12/07/12 - 07:41 am
5
0
They are trained to trap you....

That's a good line! Trained to TRAP you??? No, officers are trained to verify that you are impaired. Officers can't "trap" you if you are impaired. Officers can administer tests to determine if you are impaired, and trust me, if you are impaired, there's no "trapping" required.

As to GAD's question, you are not legally obligated to take field sobriety tests. You are legally obligated to take the state administered tests (which you can refuse; officers can't use physical force to make you do so, but there are legal consequences for refusing).

allhans
23214
Points
allhans 12/07/12 - 09:35 am
2
1
Will they need volunteers to

Will they need volunteers to act as drivers. I know several that would happily apply.

Riverman1
79153
Points
Riverman1 12/07/12 - 10:56 am
5
1
Does the Foundation Club

Does the Foundation Club serve alcohol?

Riverman1
79153
Points
Riverman1 12/07/12 - 10:59 am
5
1
DUI checkpoints

I am opposed to DUI checkpoints just as I'm opposed to any search without a valid and justifiable warrant. It reminds me of third world countries where everyone is stopped at a roadblock and made to show papers. The Supreme Court allowed the checkpoints because they stated drunk driving is a national emergency. How long do we give up our rights because of national emergencies? Where does it stop?

Farmboy
902
Points
Farmboy 12/07/12 - 12:36 pm
5
1
I still say if you have been drinking stay out of the car..

That is if you don't want a dui. That is common sense, itsanotherday1. Pure common sense.

Farmboy
902
Points
Farmboy 12/07/12 - 12:39 pm
4
1
By The Way...

You should be cautioned that the LEGAL amount of alcohol you can consume is NOT THAT MUCH... So go ahead. Take a risk. If you get in trouble, you will have to bail yourself out. Just remember what I said when you get beind the wheel.

David Parker
7921
Points
David Parker 12/07/12 - 04:49 pm
4
0
I think by "trapping", the

I think by "trapping", the reference meant "to scrutinize with extreme predjudice".

If you breathalize between .01 and .08 BAC and are a danger, then the legal limit would be .00 no?

rebellious
20127
Points
rebellious 12/07/12 - 08:34 pm
3
0
We get it

Farmboy doesn't want anyone to even wiff a drink and drive. I don't know that I disagree, just that you made your point.

GAD If you have been drinking and you drive and you see the dreaded Blue Lights in the rear view....you should pray!
Oh wait, I forgot, you can't cause you don't believe in prayer. Crap!

Ok now for a legal opinion. I have been admitted to a bar, you know paid the cover charge, ID was OK and they say "you can come in". Put that little black light stamp on the inside of your wrist so the church people wouldn't see it tomorrow.

I have also been to DUI school. Paid my money back in 1979 and went to school every night. There they teach you that you can consume 1 ounce of alcohol per hour. That amounts to (or did in 1979) to 1 mixed drink or 1 beer per hour. Not both and some students missed this important detail. This was based on body weight and metabolism, etc and the technology in 1979.

After graduation, I raced a fellow student down Broad Street at speeds up to 100 mph to see who could hit the bar first, so my opinion is just that, my opinion.

rebellious
20127
Points
rebellious 12/07/12 - 08:38 pm
3
1
Benefits Already

Capin Blanchard allready showing what an asset he can be to the department. What a guy, what a Sherf, and to quote Borak, what a country.

Free training, who could say no to that. Sheriff Strength must have approved it, right?

GiantsAllDay
9060
Points
GiantsAllDay 12/07/12 - 09:20 pm
2
1
Rebellious

Thanks for the chuckle!

Riverman1
79153
Points
Riverman1 12/08/12 - 09:30 am
3
0
This Foundation Club is so

This Foundation Club is so involved with the RCSO these days, I'm surprised they don't put a law enforcement emblem on the building. You just know LB has thought about it. Plus, open a little store in the front where they sell handcuffs, badges with "agent" on them, two-way wrist radios and x-ray vision glasses. Sell used Crown Victorias in the parking lot.

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