County officers get drug training

The Mt. Orab Police Department recently hosted 26 officers from all over southwest Ohio for advanced training in how to spot impaired drivers.
The training is called Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement or ARIDE and was presented by the Ohio Department of Public Safety.
The course is designed to teach officers how to evaluate a drivers physical condition and behavior after a traffic stop to determine if they are impaired by a drug or alcohol.
It also teaches officers how to determine in many cases which type of drug the drivers may be impaired with.
Mount Orab Patrolman  Bradley Jones was one of the officers that participated in the course.
“After you’ve made the traffic stop and made contact with the person, this course teaches you what to look for to see if that person is an impaired driver,” Jones said.
“Out of all the training I’ve ever had, this is the best for keeping our citizens safe.”
Jones said that he was able to put the training to use on the job very quickly.
“I used it in the first hour and a half of my first shift back on duty and took an impaired driver off the road,” he said.
Jones said the training is based on observation skills, knowledge and standard field sobriety tests.
“The tests are called divided attention tests.  You have to do things without thinking about them like you do when you are driving a motor vehicle,” he said.
“The things they teach in this class are what to look for during those tests.  Things that people cannot control when they are impaired. There’s a lot of different things you can tell about a person just by talking to them and looking in their eyes.”
Jones said the instructors taught them that there are seven different classes of drugs that have different outward signs of impairment.
“People are going to have different clues if they are on a different drug,” he said.
Jones added that the idea behind the training is public safety, not just simply law enforcement.
“The goal of the training is not to make arrests.  The goal of the training is to be able to see if someone is impaired.  If they are, they shouldn’t be behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.  If they are not impaired, then we shouldn’t be making an arrest.”
To prevent unnecessary arrests, the course also teaches officers which medical conditions can mimic the signs of drug impairment.