WAIPAHU (KHON2) — Failing a field sobriety test on purpose is something that many would not agree with, but several volunteers did just that on Saturday during a Honolulu police workshop on operating a vehicle under the influence.
The workshop started with a presentation from Honolulu police to go over laws, research and procedures around impaired driving. Reporters stayed in one room and volunteers were brought to another for supervised consumption.
“I hade a vodka and a Corona seltzer,” volunteer Cheyenne Sibley said.
KHON2 learned about the different components of the field sobriety test while volunteers were knocking drinks back. The walk-and-turn test requires the person to take nine steps in a straight line — heel-to-toe — before turning around and repeating the nine steps.
The horizontal gaze nystagmus test involves an officer holding a pen 12 inches away from the drivers face and moving it side to side.
“And that’s where the officer is looking at your eyes and they’re judging the ability for the eyes to track a stimulus smoothly,” Sgt. Thomas Billins said.
Video of one of the volunteers after consumption clearly showed that his eyes were jerking around as they tried to track the pen.
The final component of a field sobriety test is the one-leg-stand test, where subjects have to stand on a leg of their choice with their foot six inches off of the ground and their hands by their sides.
“So, if you were to get stopped in Hawaii or you were to get stopped in New York and a OVUII investigation was initiated, it would be the same tests anywhere in the country,” Sgt. Koa Saul said.
The volunteers came back in to the classroom feeling pretty good.
“That’s the only shot I took,” Sibley said, “and then I had a Corona and then I had another Corona I think another Corona.”
Sibley said the nystagmus test was the real challenge. She could barely keep her composure as the officer moved the pen in front of her face.
“You have no idea what they’re thinking,” Sibley said, “so you’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, am I, am I like following the pen right? Is my eyes moving wrong?”
Sibley blew a .112 after four seltzers and one shot, which would have meant that she would have been put in handcuffs if she were to be pulled over. She did alright on the one-leg-stand test and thought she passed the heel-to-toe-walk, but her feet were not quite touching.
“And I realized I was more drunk than anyone else,” Sibley said.
The fact that national statistics show that more than 20% of road fatalities are impaired driving-related. That hits closer to home for Sibley — her aunt died of a drunk driver before she was born.
“And it didn’t affect just like her and my dad and my grandpa, but it affected me, I never met her,” Sibley said.
Officials said the real point of the workshop — especially with the popularity of ride share companies — is to show that there really is no excuse for drunk driving.
“$20 to go home versus like 20 people you just affected their whole entire life, not having memories with,” Sibley said.
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KHON2 gave Sibley a ride to and from the demonstration, Honolulu police made sure that all volunteers had a safe way of getting home.