Crash raises questions on officers' training for field sobriety tests

The vice president of the Police Association of New Orleans said not all officers are trained to give the field sobriety test but a request can be made.

NEW ORLEANS – A crash near Prytania Street is raising a question about training for police officers responding to accidents.

Nicholas Chabarria had a startling wake-up call on early Sunday.

"Got a door bell ring from our neighbors, they said there had been an accident outside our apartment,” he said.

"So, my car was parked right here where the glass is, that's the back windshield, and over here is where it wound up,” he said.

Given the early night hour and where Chabarria parked his car, he thought it was a possible drunk driver.

"When I requested and asked if the officer would be doing a field sobriety test, his response was that he wouldn't because not every patrol officer is trained to give those tests,” he said.

The officer told Chabarria that did not think a trained officer was available to come out to the scene, nor did he smell alcohol.

“Not everyone who goes through the academy, mostly persons assigned to the traffic unit,” Peter Hanshe, vice president of the Police Association of New Orleans, said.

Hanshe said not all officers are trained to give the field sobriety test but a request can be made.

"If you have a question about what a police officer is doing during an incident and you're not satisfied with it certainly you should ask them to contact their supervisor."

However, the incident does not sit well with Chabarria.

"It’s concerning that the police department isn't equipped to handle DUI in a city that is known for partying and having a good time,” he said.

To be clear, the other driver who hit Chabarria’s car did not flee the scene. Eyewitness News also reached out to the NOPD and have not heard back at this time.

 

© 2017 WWL-TV


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