Walker River Paiute Police Explorers busy during Pinenut Festival | FirstNationsFocus.com

Walker River Paiute Police Explorers busy during Pinenut Festival

By Gary Hall | Special to First Nation’s Focus
Walker River Tribal Chairwoman Amber Torres donned a pair of impairment goggles as part of the Drunk Buster Program during the Walker River Pinenut Festival.
Photo: Gary Hall

SCHURZ, Nev. — One of the community activities the new Walker River Paiute Tribal Police Department’s Explorer members are involved in is the Drunk Busters Alcohol Awareness Program.

Those wishing to participate in the program sign in and receive a Drunk Buster Sticker, followed by an Explorer administering two of the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests used by police officers in DUI investigations — the One Leg Stand and Walk and Turn tests without goggles; and then again with a variety of goggles that create the sensation of being impaired by alcohol or drugs.

There are six levels of goggles to choose from, which range from .06 to .08 Blood Alcohol Content up to .26 to .35 BAC, plus goggles for marijuana and another for drugs.

The Explorers set up a course using traffic cones, and the participant then attempts to use a pedal cart to negotiate the course wearing goggles without hitting any of the cones.

The purpose is to show youth and young adults the dangers of impaired driving. Therefore, when they see someone drinking or who had been drinking, they know the danger and will ask the person not to drive, or tell an adult.

On the evening of Sept. 15, there were 19 participants who signed up, and on Sept. 16, at the 87th annual Walker River Pinenut Festival, 35 individuals participated, a very good turnout for the first time the Drunk Buster Program was used.

Also on Sept. 16, the Explorers assisted the elderly and those with impairments by helping them get a plate of food and carrying it to their table.

They were also involved in setting up for the community free luncheon and in serving the food. The weekend was a great success for everyone and we look forward to next year.

Earlier this year, the Walker River Police launched the first Tribal Police Explorer Program in Nevada and only the fifth in the nation in Indian Country.

Gary Hall is chief of the Walker River Paiute Tribal Police Department, located in Schurz, Nevada. Visit http://www.wrpt.us to learn more.


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