The Guam Police Department will be conducting DUI checkpoints throughout all major roadways on the island through May 5. Police are asking members of the community to remain responsible and have a designated driver whenever consuming alcohol or marijuana, which was legalized for recreational use in early April.
The first checkpoints were set up Wednesday night.
Highway Patrol Officer Angelo Bueno said about 50 police officers took Advance Roadside Impairment Detection Enforcement classes last year. The classes were led by instructors from Phoenix, Arizona, and taught local officers how to determine if an individual is under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
The 50 officers joined other officers who were previously trained and certified on Advance Roadside Impairment Detection Enforcement.
If a person is stopped on the road, and officers can't smell alcohol or detect alcohol on a person's breath, a couple of field tests can be conducted to determine whether someone is under the influence: the lack of convergence and modified Romberg tests.
The lack of convergence test involves asking an individual to focus on the officer's finger as it is rotated and brought toward the bridge of the person's nose. The normal response is for both eyes to look in on the finger but if the eyes "pop out" then that could be an indication of marijuana use, Bueno said.
The modified Romberg test involves asking the individual to stand with their hands to their side, tilt their head back and count 30 seconds in their mind. At the same time, the officer is keeping track of the time through a watch. If the person is slow to count to 30, it can be a sign of other drug use, not necessarily marijuana, Bueno said.
Drug Recognition Evaluation
To determine the actual substance in a person's system, police officers conduct a 12-step Drug Recognition Evaluation process, which can take 45 minutes to an hour.
"We check for pulse; we check for blood pressure," Bueno said. Not all of the steps can be done in the field and a person suspected of drug use will be brought into a precinct for the evaluation.
There are seven categories of drugs: cannabis, inhalants, hallucinogens, central nervous system stimulants, depressants, narcotic analgesics and dissociative anesthetics.