DRE Program: Standardized Field Sobriety Testing



In the 1970s, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began sponsoring research studies into the development of standardized tests for law enforcement officers to use to evaluate levels of impairment in drivers suspected of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs or driving while intoxicated (DWI).  A number of tests were studied, and some of them were validated by the studies as being accurate indicators of impairment. 

The Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST) course, also known as the DUI or DWI Detection course, is a comprehensive course that is designed to increase the student's ability to detect impairment in drivers.  The fundamental purpose of this training course is to foster DWI deterrence, i.e., to dissuade people from driving while impaired by increasing the odds that they will be arrested and convicted. SFST training focuses on the three-phases of the DUI/DWI detection investigation, and especially on the battery of three tests that were validated by NHTSA in their studies. Students in this class learn how to recognize and document the presence or lack of clues from each test that indicate impairment in suspected DUI subjects. Successful completion of this class has resulted in attendees' improved ability to remove impaired drivers from California's roadways.

Course Description:


This course is a 16 hour classroom course which includes instruction on:

· NHTSA Studies
· General Deterrence
· Physiology
· Vehicle Code Review
· Detection as a Three-Phase Process
· Processing the Arrested Subject
· Courtroom Testimony
· SFST Instruction & Proficiency Testing
· Report Writing


In order to be considered for training in the SFST program, a person must be employed under direct contact of a criminal justice agency or institution involved in providing training services to law enforcement agencies.



Upcoming classes may be found in the Schedule of Classes page under SFST.  In order to register for this course, students are required to electronically submit a Training Request form to the course coordinator. An email with a name and POST ID number will not suffice to reserve a roster spot.

​Fees & Costs:

There is no registration fee to attend this course. If a facility use fee is charged by the hosting agency, it will be noted in the expanded course description. This course is funded through the California Office of Traffic Safety DRE Grant. Travel reimbursement is not available for this course.


If your agency is interested in hosting this course at your training facility, please contact the SFST State Coordinator, Officer Randy Brunson at (916) 843-3344 or Randy.Brunson@chp.ca.gov. 


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