An open bar and a free ride home — sounds like a pretty sweet deal, right?
The Jefferson County, Mo. Sheriff’s Office is recruiting volunteers this week for field sobriety training, according to a Jan. 10 article from St. Louis news outlet KSDK. Called a “wet lab,” the program asks volunteers to consume alcohol before participating in mock field sobriety and breathalyzer tests. It’s part of training for deputies to complete their Standardized Field Sobriety Testing certification.
Prospective volunteers are screened before being approved for the test, with only three to four participants needed per day. The sheriff’s office quipped on social media that they’re footing the bill for volunteers’ booze:
“The Sheriff’s Office is looking for alcohol drinkers Tuesday-Thursday this week, and we are buying! Seriously, we buy, you drink, and we provide your transportation home (not jail),” the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office wrote on Facebook.
After volunteers arrive at the sheriff’s office headquarters, they’ll be served wine, beer, and liquor. They’ll be allowed to mingle with other participants while drinking for one to two hours.
“While we will not be providing Pappy Van Winkle, we promise not to serve you cheap wine or rail liquor. We appreciate our volunteers more than that,” the post states. “You don’t have to use our transportation home, but a sober driver must be present before you leave. It’s a fun and interesting way to spend an afternoon!”
After consuming the booze, individuals will undergo field sobriety tests led by several officers. If the supervising officers observe the person to be legally intoxicated, they’ll measure a breath sample. All volunteers will take a breathalyzer test before being given a ride home by officers or a sober driver.
The ideal volunteer is a “casual” drinker without any balance issues that might affect the test. Participants cannot have a history of alcohol-related arrests or any pending criminal cases, according to the Facebook post. The program also won’t accept anyone who takes a prescription medication that discourages alcohol use.
“Wet lab” training is fairly common among police and sheriff departments, which often causes buzz on social media. And for those asking — no, the alcohol purchased for Jefferson County’s program is not funded by taxpayer dollars.
Unfortunately for those eager to drink on the department’s dime, the program is no longer accepting volunteers.