Texas DWI Officer Training- Don’t Learn Too Much
Texas trains DWI officers with the NHTSA Standardized Field Sobriety Student Testing Manual. The NHTSA SFST Manual is the national standard for DWI enforcement. Every DWI defense lawyer should own a copy.
The manual includes, inter alia, training on how an officer should testify in court. DWI officers are professional witnesses, trained and paid to speak in court. Some of the manual’s tips are pretty mundane; read the police report beforehand, listen carefully, take your time, speak clearly. Not too exiting.
Training Officers To Be Ignorant
Good propaganda demands blind adherence to principle. In our case officers are taught to never question “the studies” or the breath test machine.
Here is how the manual instructs officers to answer questions about the breath test machine, the Intoxilyzer 5000.
From the manual
You are not required to know, and in fact know nothing, about the Intoxilyzer 5000, or your jurisdiction breath test instrument, its internal workings or anything other than how to operate it and take a breath sample from a defendant…. Never testify to its internal workings, or the defense attorney will discredit you and make you out to be a “thinks-he-knows-it-all who really knows nothing
A typical breath test room contains the officer and the DWI suspect. That means NO ONE in the breath machine room knows how the Intoxilyzer works!! Another reason why you should have the right to counsel before bac testing.
What is worse in the encouragement of officers to not learn anything about the breath machine. What other profession would encourage ignorance? What is NHTSA afraid of? Maybe that the officers would read this, or this, or this.
Here is some more gold on NHTSA validation studies.
Be sure the officer is aware that NHTSA has done validation studies, and the SFST is considered very useful in determining whether or not is driving while intoxicated. The officer doesn’t need to know the number, or care, because in this case, this defendant was impaired.
First of all, these studies have not been validated. Here is a great breakdown of the “studies” that “validate” the garbage SFST science.
For detecting innnocent drivers SFST’s score as low as 7%! We certainly wouldn’t officers to know that would we? They might lose the moral certainty required for subjective mass arrests. Officers shouldn’t take time to learn about what they are doing. After all in your case, you are impaired.