Local police are upping their training when it comes to impairment.

Timmins and OPP officers are getting Standard Field Sobriety Testing Training to buckle down on drinking and driving, as well as preparing for the upcoming cannabis legalization date later this month.

Constable Brennan Campbell with TPS says this standard sobriety test will have suspected impaired drivers do a series of simple tasks to test if they’re actually impaired. “Any tools that we have that will provide us with evidence to the offence make our cases stronger when they get to court. They also provide us with the ability to keep our roads safer and identify more people who are driving under the influence of both drugs and alcohol.”

The Standard Field Sobriety Testing Training is a three-part process which includes:

  • Horizontal Mistagnance Gaze: test your eyes and how they move
  • Walk and Turn test: get the suspect to walk down a line nine heal to toe steps, turn around in a specific way, walk nine more heal to toe steps
  • One Legged Stand Test: get a suspect to stand on one leg for a period of time

Constable Campbell says this training is very important because it gives officers more options when it comes to testing if someone is impaired. “It’s a tool that we can use in conjunction with the roadside screening device or instead of the roadside screening device. It’s just another option that we have on the side of the road.”

The Timmins Police Service says nine of its officers and 10 OPP officers are undergoing the training this week with the Ontario Police College. TPS says it will continue to train more officers on the Standard Field Sobriety Testing in the near future.