Idaho Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor

Prosecutor Training

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Protecting Lives/Saving Futures

Prosecuting the Impaired Driver: DUI/DWI Cases

Prosecuting the Drugged Driver

Lethal Weapon


Protecting Lives/Saving Futures
Interactive Participant-Centered Course

This model curriculum is designed to jointly train police and prosecutors in the detection, apprehension and prosecution of alcohol and drug impaired drivers. This training is unique in two ways: (1) Experts in the fields of toxicology, optometry, prosecution and law enforcement designed and developed the curriculum; (2) Law enforcement officers and prosecutors are trained together by the experts in their respective disciplines. The training is the first of its kind to be developed nationally and is adaptable to all local jurisdictions.

The joint-training approach allows all the involved disciplines to learn from each other inside a classroom rather than outside a courtroom five minutes before trial. Each profession learns firsthand the challenges and difficulties the others face in impaired driving cases. This allows for greater understanding on the part of police officers as to what evidence prosecutors must have in an impaired driving case. Conversely, this training gives prosecutors the opportunity to learn to ask better questions in pretrial preparation, as well as in the courtroom. Both prosecutors and law enforcement officers learn firsthand from toxicologists about breath, blood and urine tests. A nationally recognized optometrist instructs police and prosecutors about the effects of alcohol and other drugs on an individual's eyes, specifically, Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN). In turn, optometrists and toxicologists gain a greater appreciation for the challenges officers face at the scene in gathering forensic evidence and the legal requirements prosecutors must meet in presenting evidence in court. This exchange of information is beneficial to all involved.

Prosecutors and police officers participate in interactive training classes regarding:

• Initial detection and apprehension of an impaired driver
• Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) and the effective documentation of observations of suspects
• The medical background of the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test, including the correlation of HGN to alcohol and other drugs
• The scientific background of the breath/blood/urine alcohol and drug tests, and advantages and limitations of forensic testing
• Identification of impairment due to alcohol as well as other drugs
• The effective presentation of evidence in court through trial preparation exercises