The Norman Transcript

Opinion

May 5, 2013

Testing limits, cadets

NORMAN — When the Norman police sergeant insisted on taking me home after a night of binge drinking this week, my first thought was what would the neighbors think when the patrol car creeped into my driveway and my exit was from the back seat? Would my family be embarrassed? Would we have to move?

Thankfully, my designated driver, Sgt. Raymond Goins, was driving his own truck and the delivery was less-than-noticeable Tuesday night.

The experience for me, however, was just as monumental.

After two happy hours at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds, Oklahoma Highway Patrol cadets took their turn at assessing my ability to follow a moving pen with my eyes, walk a straight line heel to toe and lift and hold a foot six inches off the ground for 20 seconds or so.

It was all a test scenario for the state’s 40-plus cadets. They are halfway through their academy in Oklahoma City. Veteran troopers from around the state are brought in as instructors. The “designated drinkers” were members of the Citizens Police Academy alumni and others who volunteered for the task and were willing to sign a lengthy waiver.

Some other volunteers, many of them teachers, returned a day later for a scenario involving drinkers planted in cars but not actually driving. The cadets had to assess them as if they were pulled over on a highway shoulder.

On my Tuesday evening, we drank liquor that had been confiscated and ate cheap potato chips and pretzels, all the while getting to know strangers. Officers were posted at the doors to keep us from leaving on our own. By the end of the evening, several of the younger, amateur drinkers were swapping telephone numbers and addresses like they were in some kind of Cheers bar.

One tried to hug a young cadet and was pushed away.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Call up National Guard

    We’re not sure it will help, but you have to hand it to Texas Gov. Rick Perry. He deployed up to 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to help secure his state’s border with Mexico this week....

    July 23, 2014

  • It’s only getting worse

    Conditions for children in Oklahoma were starting to look up for a few years, according to the annual Kids Count reports. Now we know it wasn’t getting better. The recession was impacting the rest of the country, dropping their scores....

    July 23, 2014

  • Noting a life well lived

    James Garner never intended to be a movie and television star. He just kind of lucked into it, he would tell those who asked. If you have the itch to act, get a good-paying job and spend your free time at your local community theater, he ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Recount that really matters

    Americans have been hearing a lot about Congressional elections, but there’s another one halfway around the globe that will matter far more....

    July 22, 2014

  • Runoffs get no respect

    The Aug. 26 Republican runoff election for the Cleveland County District 3 commissioner post is one of only 18 races on ballots around the state. Only two races are statewide — the Democrat contests for U.S. Senator nominee and state ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Change some lines

    Editor, The Transcript: Looking at how our elected Republican friends are reacting to the refugee children crossing the border and now being housed in Lawton, I have a suggestion. Let’s edit the Christian Bible in several places to reflect ...

    July 21, 2014

  • New health care system demonized

    To the Editor: In October 2013, soon after we were asked to take over management responsibilities at our family business, we were visited by the company’s health insurance agent. She explained that a decision needed to be made regarding ...

    July 21, 2014

  • Norman Forward builds momentum

    The quiet campaign to build momentum for a citywide public works project is beginning to attract some attention....

    July 20, 2014

  • The longer the wait, the higher the cost

    Editor, The Transcript: Thanks for the great article of July 3 on the Norman chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby group that recently went to D.C. as citizen lobbyists, working to get a revenue-neutral carbon pollution fee, refunded in ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Tax those trees out of here

    I read your editorial “Pesky red cedars” in the Norman Transcript of Tuesday, July 15, 2014. I have attended two meetings where the problem of the eastern red cedar trees was discussed. Because of the drought conditions in Oklahoma, we ...

    July 20, 2014