FOLEY - The newly formed Foley Police Department held a Safe and Sober class for law enforcement officials this week.

WJON's Jim Maurice had the opportunity to participate in the program.

Foley Police Chief Brant Standridge held the class at the Foley Fire Hall.  There were 18 students from law enforcement agencies throughout Minnesota that participated in the program.  It was a two-day program that included 16 hours of classroom, and field training.

Twelve community volunteers - including myself - were selected each day to be the drinkers.  The goal was to have each of us drink just enough so that we would be close to the legal driving limit of .08.  For me that meant drinking eight Coors Lights in three hours.  I also was able to eat pizza and other snacks during that time.

When the first of the field sobriety tests started for me I blew a .09.  And, despite my best efforts to pass the test, four of the six teams of officers say they would have arrested me.  They had me walk a straight line and hold one foot six inches off the ground for 30 seconds, which I handled pretty easily.  But, the telling sign for me was my eyes, the rapid movement of my eyes as I tried to follow the officer's finger was a big giveaway.

Other volunteers had a blood alcohol level that ranged from .108 to .204.

Please note, while there were a lot of laughs and the day was light-hearted, the class was a serious one for the law enforcement officers.  The skills they learned in Foley this week will make them better officers out on the road, and will help take more drunk drivers off the roads.

After the class was over, each of the participants was given a safe ride home. For me, video reporter Abby Faulker played the role of sober cab.

Video by Abby Faulkner: