Texas Walk and Turn Test
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has developed a series of field sobriety tests that are supposed to help law enforcement agents gauge a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC). There are three standardized field sobriety tests: the walk-and-turn test, the one-leg stand test, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus.
The walk-and-turn test is probably the most recognizable of the three field sobriety tests. Known as a “divided attention” test, the walk and turn is designed to test both your cognitive and physical skills. These skills may be affected by the consumption of alcohol.
When administrating the walk-and-turn test, the officer must provide clear directions and demonstrate what is expected of the driver. The officer must then receive confirmation that the driver understands the instructions, as a language barrier could affect the test.
To perform the test, the driver will take nine heel-to-toe steps, pivot, then walk back in the same manner while counting the steps aloud. The officer watches the driver to see if he or she remains balanced, walks heel to toe, and take the correct number of steps.
Some people are exempt from taking the walk-and-turn test. Those who are over 65 years old, more than 50 pounds overweight, or who have a physical condition should not be asked to take this test. Other factors could lead to a failing score, such as having limited sight or wearing uncomfortable shoes.
If you have been arrested for a Texas DWI after failing the walk-and-turn test, you should fight your charges. This test is not a scientific method of determining BAC, and there are several other factors that can affect your score. And, unlike a breath test, the score on a field sobriety test is entirely subjective. A skilled attorney can evaluate your test to determine if it was scored or administered correctly.
Attorney Ken Gibson can defend you against your pending Texas DWI charges. He has completed training by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Standardized Field Sobriety Testing—the same course taken by Texas law enforcement agents. He can determine if the test was conducted properly and take the proper actions if they were not.