Dearborn DUI Attorney

Walk And Turn Test

A walk and turn test is a divided attention test that unimpaired people should be able to perform. It is a standardized field sobriety test that is used in order to detect if a driver is mentally and physically compromised due to alcohol. A suspect is required to listen and follow instructions while performing simple physical motions. If someone is under the influence of alcohol, they will not be able to perform this task easily. The driver must be able to follow simple directions and meet the physical requirements of the test in order to prove their sobriety.

The person or officer conducting the walk and turn test scores the suspect based on their performance. 1 point is given for each item that is completed incorrectly by the suspect, with the maximum score of 9 points. If the suspect scores 2 or more points on the walk and turn test, the person giving the test classifies them as having a BAC higher than .08. If you have been pulled over, have been asked to take a walk and turn test, and believe that you were falsely accused of drunk driving, contact the Dearborn DUI lawyer at Boulahanis & Associates today.

The walk and turn test requires the suspect to take nine steps, heel-to-toe, in a straight line with their hands against their sides. When this is completed, the suspect must turn on one foot, and return doing the same motions. The person giving the test is required to look for 8 characteristics of impairment. The first indicator is if the suspect cannot keep their balance while listening to the examiner give instructions.

If they start before the instructions are finished, or stop while walking to regain balance, this can prove that the driver is under the influence of alcohol. Stepping off the line, not walking heel-to-toe, using arms to balance, turning incorrectly, and taking too few or too frequent amount of steps can also indicate impairment. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study shows that 79% of those who indicate two or more faults while performing the test will have a BAC of .08 or higher.

Faults of Walk and Turn Test

According to government studies, the walk and turn test is 68% accurate in determining alcohol impairment. However, this means that 1 out of every 3 people are falsely accused of drunk driving after being administered the walk and turn test. The test must be conducted in a fair and safe environment. The ground surface should be level, and if the suspect is elderly or suffering from physical or mental impairments, the results can be skewed. Distractions should be eliminated, and the person giving the test must conduct it away from traffic and other forms of distractions.

A suspect wearing heels should be able to take them off before performing the test, and inappropriate dress attire can prevent a suspect from correctly completing the walk and turn test. The person giving the test can also give incorrect instructions or improperly grade the test. A test administrator may also be biased, and believe that the suspect is drunk no matter what they score.

How We Can Help

If your walk and turn test was performed on incorrect surfaces or in an inappropriate environment, our firm may be able to help you fight your DUI charges. We have over 25 years of legal experience in the DUI field, and are more than capable of defending clients against false or harsh punishments. We may be able to prove that your walk and turn test was given incorrectly, or was not scored using the proper scoring method. If you are 1 of the 3 people who are falsely accused of drunk driving, we may be able to prove that you were pulled over for inappropriate reasons.