Walk and Turn Test
Chicago DUI Defense Attorney
If you have been pulled over under the suspicion of driving under the influence,
you might have been asked to perform a series of
field sobriety tests. One test in particular, the walk and turn, is used to assess coordination.
Also referred to as a "divided attention test," it divides the
individual's attention between a mental and physical task—the
physical task being coordination and balance, and the mental aspect being
processing information and instruction. This test requires an individual
to walk nine steps, heel-to-toe, on a straight line and then turn around
with a certain amount of coordination and repeat the same steps back.
The external conditions in which this test is administered is crucial to
the resulting outcome. It must be conducted on a clearly visible line
or parallel to a curb so that it can be properly deduced whether or not
the individual was able to walk in a straight line. If it is windy or
the weather conditions are unfavorable, it might have a certain degree
of interference in the test, as well. The field officer that is administering
the test must give clear instructions on how the DUI suspect is expected
to proceed, and then must demonstrate the motions of the test. If these
regulations are not followed, the test could yield unfavorable and unfair
results for the suspect.
Six Scoring Factors for the Walk and Turn Test
There are usually six ways in which an officer is trained to score the
walk and turn test.
- One scoring factor is whether or not the individual stops at any point
to regain balance or steady themselves.
- Another factor is how accurately the suspect completes the heel-to-toe
- If they turn in the wrong direction
- If they leave a gap of a half inch or more between their heel and their
toe when walking
- They cannot manage to walk in a straight line this way, it might give the
officer reason to suspect that they are intoxicated
- If the DUI suspect takes the wrong amount of steps during the test, this
might be scored unfavorably
Contesting a Field Sobriety Test
It is no surprise that field sobriety tests are not always considered valid
or an accurate way to prove that an individual was driving under the influence.
There are several factors that could contaminate the results of this test,
and most of the time, the conclusion that an officer draws from this test
is subjective. If you have recently been charged with a
DUI, it is absolutely imperative that you obtain the right legal representation.
A qualified lawyer knows how a field sobriety test should be conducted.
If you failed a test that was improperly administered, they can have this
evidence against you made inadmissible.
Pick up the phone and call the Law Offices of Mitch Furman today for the aggressive DUI
defense you need and deserve.