Police station hosts 'sobriety test' party


‘I could not believe that what they had us doing was legal’: Police station hosts controversial ‘sobriety test’ party

‘I felt like they was low-key bullying us because they would call you out if you were not drinking your drink.’


Jack Alban


Dallas-based TikToker, Semiya Williams (@janaysway) documented her time at a local police department’s sobriety test night in a viral clip she posted to the popular social media platform that’s accrued well over 1 million likes.

The program was designed as a training exercise for officers, who doled out measured amounts of alcohol to participants, who would then have their blood alcohol levels tested every hour. There are other departments around the country that are conducting similar tests for individuals to partake in.

Williams says in the video: “Do not drink and drive. The whole time I was here I could not believe that what they had us doing was legal. The local Sheriff’s department basically brings you in and gets you drunk and makes you do a field sobriety test. So watch this.”

@janaysway Baby the sheriff’s department can have this experiment back! I’m such a lightweight now 😭 #dui #sobrietytest #dallassheriff #socialexperiment #drunkaf #drunktok ♬ original sound – Your Dallas TikTok Bestie

The clip then cuts to various people introducing themselves along with the drinks that they’re imbibing for the police experiment (including Williams) along with the amounts that they’re consuming, which are measured in milliliters.

Janay continued to explain the process of the police field sobriety test: “So when we signed the consent forms they ask you your weight and if you want to be a heavy or a light drinker. The first hour we had to drink two drinks.”

The clip then transitions to the same group of people introducing themselves, announcing that they’re having their second drinks of the experiment. Williams goes last in the clip, she grins into the camera as she mentions she’s having her second beverage.

“I’m sure you could already hear it in my voice that I was already getting lit and we start drinking, we start getting friendly; we was playing games; I brought urban trivia; they were playing spades, spoons, basically you know we was loose as a goose cause once that liquor get up in ya, it’s over.”

Williams then showed a quick montage of various participants laughing and enjoying one another’s companies as they engaged in a multitude of different card games. Then the video transitioned to Williams taking a breathalyzer test: “After each hour you had to take a breathalyzer and I forgot to mention we were not allowed to eat from 12pm that day and we had to wait until after our first drink.”

The TikToker then shows off the different food that was brought to the function, there was what appeared to be a type of dip or soup in a crockpot, along with different kinds of chips, deli meats, and cheeses that they were able to dig into after their first drink.

She continued, “Once we ate they let us get our third drink.” Williams then records one of the participants saying that on a scale of 1-10 in terms of being drunk, they were at a 12. The video then cuts to folks participating in sobriety tests with the officers: Some people tried walking in a straight line, others stood in front of officers as they had their eyes inspected. “I felt like they was low-key bullying us because they would call you out if you were not drinking your drink.”

Williams then said that the individuals who participated in the sobriety tests thought they were going well, however, the footage she uploads in the clip shows one woman who imbibed several drinks having difficulty walking in a straight line. She then said that the folks conducting the tests were police officer trainees who needed to complete the program as part of their curriculum.

Toward the end of her clip she said that since she had been losing weight she wasn’t able to consume as much alcohol without feeling the effects of doing so as profoundly as she did, and the video ended with one of the participants laughing as some of the trainees held her up in case she stumbled or fell.

The 5-hour exercise ultimately culminated in the participants being shown their blood alcohol levels: Williams’ turned out to be just below the legal limit: .77.

She adds in a caption for video: “Baby the sheriff’s department can have this experiment back! I’m such a lightweight now.”

One commenter remarked that they thought the experiment was a great idea: “no because this is a really smart way to educate people and also build rapport with the community!”

Someone else quipped: “Imagine if this was mandatory like jury duty”

But then there was another person who didn’t seem so on-board with the experiment: “This sounds like a set up.”

Another said that they thought the department was going to take the notion a little further and have people try to get behind the wheel of a car on an obstacle course: “Why I thought they were gonna have y’all drive on an obstacle course. I just knew it was coming”

Others said that the program looked like a fun way to spend time with folks in the community: “Not y’all having a cookout with the police station”

“Now this is how you get community trust,” another penned.

While someone else wrote: “This looks like a game night at the police station”

Footage of Williams’ TikTok also went viral on Twitter, where some folks criticized the event. Like this one user who penned, “Wow.. this is disturbing. I’m surprised to see so many people of color participating in this and to think it’s okay”

Someone else speculated that it might’ve been a data-gathering exercise, though there is no evidence of this: “The police sending out all the collected DNA for storage”

While another wrote: “Imagine driving off the property and they arrest you for public intoxication lol”

Williams said that everyone who engaged in the event either took an Uber or had a designated driver pick them up.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Williams via email for further comment.

The Daily Dot