SAN ANGELO, Texas (KLST / KSAN) – Over the Fourth of July weekend law enforcement tends to see an increase in alcohol consumption, but the Texas Department of Public Safety has a zero-tolerance policy for intoxicated driving.
When getting pulled over, officers are already looking for signs of intoxication. They look for specific tells of whether or not you’re capable of safely operating a vehicle. DPS Sergeant Justin Baker says, “We’re looking for a percentage of clues that will indicate intoxication.”
They conduct a series of divided attention tasks that detect mental and physical impairments called SFST’s or Standardized Field Sobriety Tests.
These tasks are important to understanding how the alcohol you’ve consumed has affected your body.
DPS Forensic Scientists, Johnathan Cooper says, “A standard drink is 1.5 ounces of 80 proof liquor, five ounce glass of wine at 12% alcohol, or a 12 ounce beer of 5%. Now all of those have an equivalent amount of alcohol which is about 17 milliliters of pure alcohol. So even if you’re drinking different kinds of alcohol, a different drink will affect you the same once it gets into your body.”
DPS uses a special machine called an Intoxilyzer that tests the blood’s chemical level of intoxication.
As we approach to the holiday weekend it’s important to think of safety first, DPS will have more troopers on roadways.